Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XVII
What is the passion of the shepherd?
A shepherd is driven to nurture and care for his sheep. He lives, sleeps, and eats with his sheep who intimately knows his voice and become obedient to it. Human newborns are helpless, self-centered, and demanding. Their life is consumed by eating, sleeping, and pooping! “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (II Corinthians 5:17)” Everything in Christ is new and unfamiliar. Guidance, nurture, care, and education is needed in this new faith walk called Christianity.
Jesus spent three years living, working, and walking with only twelve men to nurture, care, and prepare them for the future. He did not send them to a rabbinical school, a Torah College, or a Jewish seminary. Because He personally nurtured, cared, and taught them, they “experienced” Jesus. Jesus “invested” in them by taking His own personal time to walk and talk with them.
The “personal relationship” with Jesus as my Savior and Lord has become known as my “salvation experience” because it came from the evangelistic point of view. A shepherd would emphasize the continuation of this “personal relationship” in order to grow into a mature man in the image of Christ.
Jesus manifests himself through His Church, so “personal relationships” need to continually be established with an evangelist, shepherd, teacher, prophet, and apostle to maintain spiritual growth. Every Christian needs his peers, the Priesthood of Believers, the Body of Christ around him/her to assure that growth! The five fold is about building relationships to take one from their spiritual birth to being released as a mature man in the image and fullness of Jesus Christ!