An item in Leadership magazine illustrates the importance of giving attention to needs, not just to numbers. "During World War II, economist E.F. Schumacher, then a young statistician, worked on a farm. Each day he would count the 32 head of cattle, then turn his attention elsewhere. One day an old farmer told him that if all he did was count the cattle, they wouldn’t flourish. Sure enough, one day he counted 31; one was dead in the bushes. Now Schumacher understood the farmer: you must watch the quality of each animal. "Look him in the eye; study the sheen of his coat. You may not know how many cattle you have, but you might save the life of one that is sick."
Great advice, whether it’s for the Sunday school teacher or the pastor. A full class or a crowded church isn’t necessarily a healthy class or a spiritual church. To find out people’s spiritual condition, you must "look them in the eye." Then you can minister to their needs.
(From a sermon by Scott Chambers, "What’s the Significance of a Shepherd?")
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Timothy Peck on Jan 17, 2001
But one time about six years ago I was complaining to someone about the Christian church, when suddenly an image flashed in my mind of a bride and a groom on their wedding day. In that mental image I walked up to the groom and said to him, "Your bride sure is ugly." Now no one would ever do that ...read more
Contributed by Gregory Dawson on Jan 20, 2001
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Contributed by Guy Mcgraw on Jan 30, 2001
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Contributed by Guy Mcgraw on Feb 2, 2001
LEIGHTON FORD(Billy Graham’s bro in law) was traveling by airplane and found himself next to an empty seat. He was looking forward to the extra room when appeared the stewardess with an elderly woman, 96 yrs of age. ‘Mrs ____ will be sitting here next to your sir’. As the ...read more