Posted by: Rex Boyles | September 27, 2007

“Beside still waters …”

Now that I have to “work for a living” – I do not accept very many invitations to speak away from home anymore. Not that I get all that many invitations – for obvious reasons, but I have been invited to teach (Friday and Saturday) at an event, called HIGHER GROUND, in Ruidoso, NM. It is a special retreat for elders, deacons, preachers, and potential leaders. I could not say, “no”.  

The theme of this year’s program is “The Great Shepherd”. Our discussions are intended to focus on how “shepherds” in the Church become more like the “Good Shepherd”. Each lesson is designed to encourage us to develop the “heart” – the “head” – the “hands” – the “habits” of our Chief Shepherd. (They chose the theme and the titles. I couldn’t have thought of that many words to start with the same letter.) 

As I prepared for this weekend, this thought occurred to me – over and over again – “I cannot be a good shepherd, if I don’t know sheep”. If we genuinely want to be good “shepherds”, shouldn’t we (elders, preachers, deacons, teachers – anyone caring for the flock) get serious about knowing sheep. I know that the point can be made that we need to know “the sheep” – their names, their families, their careers, etc. But what I am talking about is knowing “people” – Why do they do what they do? How do they feel/act/react when they do what they do? How can I help with their weaknesses? How can I bind up their wounds? How can I restore them to a joyful salvation? How can I prepare them for “works of service”?  

Jesus is, of course, the example that answers each of those questions – and even those I didn’t ask. But I think it would be helpful – for me – if for no one else to hear from you – the sheep. What could an elder or preacher do to help you? Get very specific. Or maybe an elder or preacher was a true shepherd for your soul. Share with us what they did. Tell us who they are – what they did – and how it helped you through a storm. However, I understand that many of us may have had experiences in which we were neglected or hurt by leaders. If you need to “breathe out” – vent – let it out. Express the pain. Explain the hurt. (But please do not mention any names, please; for our purpose is to heal – to learn – to grow.)  

So … until I get back to my world of cell phones and computers: Teach me – share with all of us – What did an elder or preacher ever do for you to lead you “beside still waters” … to make you “lie down in green pastures” … to “restore your soul”?  

P.S. I thank God for the men, who invited me to teach at this retreat, who are friends to this sinner. Would you pray, during this weekend, that the Good Shepherd will provide us with still water and green pasture – and that He will protect us from the wolves of the shame for sin already forgiven and the fear of the “elder brother” attitude?

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Responses

  1. Rex in 1988 I was privileged to be taught by you at Sunset. You taught me some things I have thought of often in South Africa. I came upon your blog through the marvels of technology. It seems as if you have gone through a difficult time. That is not okay but it took place. I’m glad our Lord has enabledy you to come home to Him. I have read some of what you have written and I am convinced that He is not done with you get.Cline said that when your mission is never over while you are doing what God has purposed for you to do. Our God has gifted you with tremendous ability. Now He has gifted you with more opportunity to help us. I am praying for you to continue in His way and to reach people we could not reach before. Hold on to Him brother.

  2. Thank you, my brother … for those kind and encouraging words. Please pray for me. May God bless you … as He has blessed me through you today. Rex


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