Shepherd, the wolf, the sheep and the hireling - The four characters that "play" in the Church space.

Jesus speaking about the shepherd also tells us about these four principal characters who make up the dynamics of a Church or really any business organization. He said it this way

John 10:11-13

11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep."

We have the good shepherd whose role is the care giver to the sheep. His business is to make sure the sheep are adequately provided for conveying his responsibilities first and foremost through the words he speaks to them. He feeds them with words of knowledge and understanding and places them in folds for their protection.

His character trait is that he will defend the sheep with his life and reputation. He doesn't flee at the sight of battle but will rise up to the challenge no matter what the wolf throws at him.

Jeremiah 3:15-16

"And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

"And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land..........."

The next character is the hireling. This is a person who gets involved for commercial reasons. He is not really dangerous to the sheep because he is not after them, he seeks not to break the church, in fact, he wants the church doing well but his motives are financial, period.

He is in it for what material gains can come to him. He has no concept of the vision of that place, he will not lay down his life for anyone and his "brand" is more important to him than the future of the kingdom of God. In making decisions money is his bottom line and not the will of God for the people.

The only problem you may have with him is to put your trust in him thinking he will ride with you through thick and thin. Once he sees a threat and he thinks things may get rough here he jumps ship and looks for the next sheepfold where money can be made in peace.

Misplaced trust in a hireling may lead one to getting heart broken but outside that he is no real threat to the Church. In a business he works for money and will show no understanding of the vision that will make him go an extra mile for the client or customer out of love.

Then comes the wolf. He comes in sheep clothing because the nature of the work he wants to do in the congregation or business organization he must be deceptive. He longs for power. His mission is to divide that house so he can draw disciples or clients to himself.

His aim is power. He is not interested in feeding on the green pasture that the sheep feed on. He feeds on the sheep. If he comes into a church he seeks to win the trust of the shepherd with false loyalty but his goal is to access the sheep so he can draw some to himself.

The wolf is proud. He cannot give birth, that takes humility bending down. The only way he can have is to take from others who have. He waits and waits for what he considers as the right moment to strike. He feigns loyalty but all he is thinking of is how I will start my church or my business with members here or customers that trade here. He desires to divide and scatter the sheep.

Acts 20:29-31

29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Finally the sheep. He is in that place for the right reasons. He feeds on green pasture. He goes about his business recognizing the vision of the house and not exalting himself. He however maybe be naive in relating with the wolf or the hireling.

It is important that the sheep be taught and trained to take up a shepherding role in the church or business. Be given a small group to lead so that the responsibility of giving care be multiplied throughout the system and defending the unity of the house and the lives of the sheep be multiplied.

Those who train leaders within the house will build the strongest churches and organizations.
By Pastor Poju Oyemade

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About Me

Oluwaseun John Oluwawalemi

I'm a believer, what I do best is believing. I'm a vessel of God's Grace to my generation.


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