Jesus has called you to help shepherd His flock. As I say those words my thoughts go to the shepherd out on the hillside
somewhere with his flock. One of his primary responsibilities as a shepherd is to move the flock from one place to the next so the
sheep can have adequate pastures on which to feed. The search for better grass never ends.
Let’s ask the question: What would happen to the sheep out there on the hills if the shepherd never moved the flock? The
answer is easy: The sheep would eventually starve because they would exhaust the grass in that particular pasture. So as winter
gives way to spring the flock is moved higher and higher onto the upper pastures; and the grass up there is green and nutritious.
The good shepherd makes sure his sheep benefit from those higher pastures.
I want to draw a comparison here, Pastor, to your work as a shepherd of God’s sheep. Understand clearly that the necessity
always exists to be ever moving your sheep higher and higher onto greener pastures of the Word of God. If the people of God
remain at one level of knowledge too long it is a lot like the flock of sheep that eventually finds nothing more to eat. In my
estimation, this condition is one that exists within too many local churches. The saints have been fed only up to a certain level
and then the revelations tend to taper off until the graph-line flattens out altogether. This is the reason why so many believers
have stalled in their spiritual growth and why many never really reach maturation. What is behind this problem? The pastors are
behind this problem! They have failed to continually move their people ever higher and higher expecting more and more from
them as they open to them the good Word of God. The truth is that each and every person on their pews who is born again has
the Spirit of God and that makes them capable of astounding heights in the Spirit, heights that most Christians never experience.
One of the negatives that inadvertently comes from formal theological training is the subliminal assumption that the folks on the
pews are incapable of very much. Ministers enter the ministry actually believing that apart from a seminary education or at least a
Bible School certificate a person cannot fully understand the Bible and thereby cannot become significant in the Kingdom of God.
This thinking is contrary to Scripture and must be rejected by all who stand in the sacred desk. The saints of God are indwelt by
His Spirit and He is the Teacher, and, furthermore, He is quite able to lead them into all the truth. Those folks on your pews
possess God’s anointing to do the works of God in no less measure than Jesus Himself, giving the proper training and a spiritual
environment that is rich in faith in which to mature. It is up to you to build that spiritual environment and to feed the sheep at ever
increasing levels so they can mature and fulfill the plan of God for their lives.
As a disclaimer, of sorts, I want to clarify that in this study of moving your people to higher heights there is a caution I would
offer to you. Do not fall into the error that many men of God have followed which is to be always seeking some “new revelation.” I
tell you that in your pursuit of the “new revelation” (for the sake of finding something new) you will find it alright, but it will not be
from God. Satan is more than happy to accommodate the one who foolishly seeks the novelty so as to feel spiritual and who
appears spiritual to his congregation. You do not need that kind of grief! Be advised. Another caution is this: Do not move your
flock to the next pasture too quickly. To do so strips them of the advantage of properly digesting what they have heard.
Remember: Learning takes repetition, and repetition takes time. So be sure to invest the time in this pasture before you move to
the next. Your people will grow because of it.
As I look back on my decision to expect more from my people, I realize how bold it really was. It started one day when I was
called to hurry to the hospital to pray for a certain person. My pastoral instincts told me to run right now without delay; however, I
sensed the Holy Spirit leading me to encourage the caller to go to the hospital and pray with the person who was afflicted. The
voice on the other end of the phone call hesitated at first, but then he started to remember what we had been studying, which
was the fact that every believer is anointed to do the works of God. He agreed to go and pray. Much to his amazement the Holy
Spirit visited that hospital room in resurrection power and he discovered that he too was a vessel of honorable use for the
Pastor, I ask you: Do you expect great things from your church family members? Have you properly trained them according to
the Word of God to actually be the ambassadors for Christ? Have you motivated them to fulfill the commands of Jesus to preach,
to baptize, to cast out demons, to speak with new tongues, to walk in divine protection, and to lay hands on the sick with every
expectation of their recovery? (Mark 16:15-18) Or, my dear friend, have you been guilty of doing what so many pastors are doing
which is allowing the sheep to remain at the status quo in their comfort zones, never stretching them to be more and do more for
the sake of Christ Jesus? Consider yourself in this regard. There is yet much to do for Jesus, and the fact of the matter is, we
ordained ministers cannot do it all ourselves, indeed we are not supposed to do it all ourselves! (Ephesians 4:11-16)
|MOVE THEM TO HIGHER PASTURES