Shepherding.   Is it an area of your faith that you could grow in?

God brought me to study David this Fall.  I've been obsessed with it.  I learn and remember scripture best when it's attached to a persons story/journey.  God knows this about me, so He often brings me to  individual journeys to study rather than a verse or chapter.  

One thing I've loved seeing is the character David demonstrated in his work as a shepherd.  I have been struck with the courage, perseverance and faithfulness in his commitment.  He truly understood that every lamb had vulnerabilities and that each was created with a purpose.  He protected them each with the same fortitude, even after he was anointed to be king. He didn't loose sight of the journey, the many or the least of these.  He inconvenienced himself and lovingly and patiently continued shepherding the sheep.  He never abandoned his original call, his original responsibilities or his commitments. 

When we walk as confessing Christians, living a Christ centered life, it is our original call to be a shepherd to those who are less mature in their faith.  How often have we felt God lay on our hearts to encourage a friend or family member to attend events like church, conferences or Christian concerts? How often do we think our responsibility ends with the invitation?    

Our responsibilities are just beginning at that point.  We are called to shepherd that person through the  phases of their journey.  We are called to love them, encourage them, teach them, help them, protect them, and show them what it looks like to live a Christ centered life.  To shepherd them!  

How do we do it?  Take it back to God!  Pray for that person, ask Him to give you a wisdom or truth to share, walk it out in your own life and let them see the light in you, answer their questions, introduce them to others, keep inviting them and speak truth into their life.  So many ways we can shepherd and actively guide the vulnerable sheep in our lives. My prayer is that if you are not living out the shepherd part of your faith, that God opens an opportunity for you to start doing it, that you receive it and that you are blessed by it!