Summary: one of a series in the book of Acts
The right stuff - the wrong way
We have the right stuff
10 years/Win Arn in Marquette MI about the Christian church movement. I went with some LSCC Elders and listened and learned.
He said the Christian Church movement was ideally suited to reach American culture for Jesus and it should be able to grow!
He then cited several factors
We have the right stuff!
We have Jesus
We have the freedom in Christ to be his followers - no more and no less!
We have the word of God, no creeds
No rulebooks and manuals to follow
We have the church
No burden of denominational structure
No exclusive names or brands to follow after
Yet the average Christian church in America is baptizing 3 people a year. And 2 of those are biological additions. We are not keeping up with population growth!
It is not happening. We have the right struff but we are doing it the wrong way! - 3 Primary Problems
1. THE Minister.
People sit and the minister - minister
2. The Board Meeting
Elders and Deacons fight. We do not organize for growth. We organize to fight. There is no accountability. Preachers manipulate and grow old while still young.
3. The Congregational Meeting
3% of congregation dominates 97% of time complaining
worse - reading bylaws to the rest of us. The problem is the abdication of leadership. The Preacher can’t lead. The board can’t lead. The People shuffle one direction or another depending on the loudest voice - right or wrong!
Ezekiel 34:1 (NIV) The word of the LORD came to me:
Ezekiel 34:2 (NIV) "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ’This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock?
Ezekiel 34:3 (NIV) You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.
Ezekiel 34:4 (NIV) You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.
Ezekiel 34:5 (NIV) So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.
Ezekiel 34:6 (NIV) My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
Ezekiel 34:7 (NIV) "’Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
Ezekiel 34:8 (NIV) As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock,
Ezekiel 34:9 (NIV) therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
Ezekiel 34:10 (NIV) This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.
Ezekiel 34:11 (NIV) "’For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.
Ezekiel 34:12 (NIV) As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.
Ezekiel 34:13 (NIV) I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.
Ezekiel 34:14 (NIV) I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.
Ezekiel 34:15 (NIV) I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD.
Ezekiel 34:16 (NIV) I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
Sheep without a shepherd
What has happened to the children of God is a tragedy
pastors have preached and and hammered the sheep
they have not shepherded them! - not like this passage!