1 Peter 5:2
Shepherds were eating breakfast outside the town of Gevas, Turkey, When they saw a lone sheep jump off of a nearby cliff and fall to its death. They were further stunned when the rest of the nearly 1,500 sheep in the herd followed, each leaping off of the same cliff.
When it was all over, the local Aksam newspaper reported that “450 of the sheep perished in a billowy, white pile” (those that jumped from the middle and end of the herd were saved as the pile became higher and the fall more cushioned). The estimated loss to the families of Gevas tops $100,000—an extremely significant amount of money in a country where the average person earns about $2,700 annually.
“There’s nothing we can do. They’re all wasted,” said Nevzat Bayhan, a member of one of the 26 families whose sheep were grazing together in the herd.” (Sam O’Neal, St. Charles, Illinois; sources: “450 Sheep Jump to Their Deaths in Turkey”, Washingtonpost.com (7-8-05); “Sheep in Mass ‘Ewe-icide,'” The Sun Online (7-8-05)
Sheep make terrible shepherds. Just ask the 439 that followed that suicidal one. They need pastors… shepherds… to fulfill their role in the body. Now not everyone is supposed to be a shepherd. Being a shepherd is a calling. It is something that cannot be taught… it is a gift. Whenever there is an event at the church that I cannot attend… usually one of my first questions is: How many were there? Then… Who was there? This used to bother Janine. But we were in a breakout session at the last Bay Area Sunday School workshop and listened to someone talk about shepherding. He said: “The chief word for shepherds is COUNT.” Shepherds count sheep. How did the good shepherd know there were only 99 sheep in the fold? He counted them of course.
We need more individuals with this “Shepherd Gene.” Sunday School teachers that are concerned when someone has missed a couple of classes.
Deacons that are aware when a family under their charge has gone AWOL.
Pastors that go after the one… just as Jesus would. Shepherding the flock that is under their care.