One way of knowing what good shepherding looks like is to read what the Great Shepherd has to say about not-so-good shepherds (see John 10):
- They flee when danger approaches.
- They are not concerned about the sheep.
- They are ultimately thieves and murderers. (Ouch!)
Another word for these fake shepherds is “hirelings,” a harsh word that stabs the heart of anyone who considers themself to be a shepherd but who in reality is only “doing their job.”
A real shepherd lays down his life for the sheep – figuratively and literally. The willingness to do that is not a matter of training or tactics – it is a matter of heart. And that heart can only come from one source: the Great Shepherd himself. Accept no substitutes.