Throughout this blog our team of brothers reach out to their
fellow spiritual leaders aiding them in their time of need.


Brothers In Arms Blog

BROTHERS \ noun plural: men who share a parent in common
IN \ preposition: used as function word to indicate purpose
ARMS \ noun: weapons\verb: to furnish with weapons



Pastor, Abandon Not The Flock

The stillness of the night is shattered by the howl of a hungry wolf, making the wool of the sheep stand on end in terror like an electric shock just ran through it. Those little sheep really have nothing to fear as long as their brave and strong shepherd stands watching, ready to defend his sheep with his very life. The shepherd, who is a stalwart specimen of manhood, eyes the darkness to see from which way the wolf might come and then picks up his staff to … run the other direction?! Hey, wait … where’s … where’s the shepherd going? What about your sheep?!

That man by anybody’s standard would be a bad shepherd. He might feed the sheep, water the sheep, and interact with the sheep, but to abandon the sheep in their greatest moment of need nullifies the good he had done.

Jesus seemed to think so, as well, as He figuratively spoke of Himself as a shepherd and of people as sheep. He called Himself the Good Shepherd and defined that label as a shepherd who cares so much for the sheep that he puts his life on the line for them instead of running away (John 10:11-13).

Undoubtedly, Jesus is the Good Shepherd and will one day personally shepherd His flock when He returns, but for the meantime, He has placed men over His flock who are supposed to be good shepherds, as well. These “pastors,” a word derived from the Latin word for “shepherd,” are ultimately measured by Jesus’ definition of a good shepherd.

But before you jump up and run away into the night for safety and ease, consider:

1. Your leaving should only be by the permission of God.

Paul told the Ephesian elders to “be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood,” (Acts 20:28). You have been called and placed by God where you are. Since this is true, it’s not up to you when to leave. He called you go there, and He will call you to leave there. Until then, stand and persevere against the wolf!

2. Your leaving very well may cause you to miss something glorious that God is doing.

The 16th-century Reformers rallied around the slogan “after darkness, light.” Scripture and history prove that saying to be wise. It’s often the darkest of hours that precede glorious days of light. Stay put and rest in the sovereignty of God who “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose,” (Romans 8:28). Light is coming!

3. Your leaving could erode the trust of the sheep for the next shepherd.

In a field, when you leave the sheep to the wolf, he likely will get a few of them, but those that remain will still be vulnerable even after they have a new shepherd because they won’t trust him. They’ll expect him to run when the wolf comes, leaving that next pastor an uphill climb to gain the trust of the sheep, which will cause ministry to be greatly hindered. Step back, and look at the long-term, big picture. What effect will your leaving the sheep to the wolf have on the church for years to come?

4. Your leaving might say something about your pastoral motivation.

Jesus says that hirelings run away when the wolf appears (John 10:12). They are shepherding primarily for selfish reasons — what they can get out of it — and when the wolf shows up, a quick cost-benefit calculation leads the hireling to decide that the sheep and the benefits aren’t worth the trouble of dealing with the wolf. “They don’t pay me enough to mess with that!” the hireling says. In contrast, Jesus wasn’t concerned about what He was getting, but whom He was serving. In fact, Jesus came not to be served but to be serve (Mark 10:45), and that caused Him to be willing to face the wolf even if it meant death. He was that concerned for the sheep! Is that same mentality in you? Ask yourself why you are pastoring and why you are thinking about leaving your flock. What motivation surfaces? Is it Christ-like?

5. Your leaving might be based on what you can do instead of what God can do.

We look at situations and say in our flesh, “it’s hopeless,” but is that declaration ever true in light of the God of the Bible? No way! We who walk by faith and not by sight say with Jeremiah, “Ah, Sovereign LORD, … nothing is too hard for You!” (Jeremiah 32:17). We often run away because we think that the wolf is too much for us, the whole time being right but forgetting that God will face the wolf with us. Alone, the wolf wins, but with God, the wolf loses. Don’t base your decision to leave upon what you can do. Keep in mind what God, the one with whom all things are possible (Matthew 19:26), can do.

Brother Pastor, when the wolf howls outside the sheepfold, abandon not the flock. May you stand firm against him and endure for the sake of the sheep and the glory of Christ, the Chief Shepherd!

Categories: Sound Familiar? Comments: 2


  • Words can not express how thnakful I am for lifechurch. (This coming from a girl who swore years ago she would never go to a large church) Craig, your teaching shows your heart for God. Our local pastors do a great job being the hands and feet of God. I recently became a foster mom and could not have hoped to survive and make an impact with two very special needs girls without my lifegroup and my best friend who I met while serving at one of our campuses. God used you to set up an environment for me to get plugged in. I came here badly beaten and broken by people who thought they were doing what was right. God used lifechurch as a place for me to heal and now I have the honor of serving and helping others come to that healing. I heard something last night that may make you smile. Without Goliath David would have seemed ordinary. I can’t imagine the pressure you feel on a daily basis, not only with the church, but your beautiful family as well. All I can say is you must have proven to be trustworthy to God for Him to use you in the way that He has. Thank you for being a man of integrity and calling our staff to that place as well. Thank you for setting up a place that I can bring children who have been broken in ever sense of the word to receive hope and healing for the first time in there young lives. Thank you for being so outreach minded that I can watch a church service on line with my two best friends one who is serving in Iraq and the other who is stationed in Colorado. Thank you for raising the bar when it comes to finances. I have a friend who is very business minded and believes that all churches are wasteful and therefore not worth investing time or money in. He can’t say that about lifechurch. We are amazing caretakers of what God has given us. Thank you for proving to him that your priority can be the Kingdom and you can still display wisdom. Thank you for being willing to make mistakes and take chances. Thank you for holding us as a body accountable while setting the example yourself. Thank you for teaching that we are one body here to help and complete not compete with each other. I love love love the fact that we partner with so many different churches. Thank you for sharing what God has given you to help further His Kingdom. It has been an honor and a privilege to sit under your teaching. Thank you for letting God’s love flow through you to us week after week.

  • Thank you for taking the time to write such heartfelt words of thanks for your Pastor. It is a true blessing to have a spiritual leader who is faithful to his calling. May he be blessed for his service and may you continue to be blessed by His care.