Sheep follow. Shepherds lead. Seems straight-forward enough. So why is it I get the sense that some preachers drag their sheep (often with manipulative ploys) in lieu of leading them and/or allowing them to follow? There is a huge distinction between preaching & reaching.
"If the truth were known, many sermons are prepared
and preached with more regard for the sermon
than the souls of the hearers."
~ George F. Pentecost
Oh, I realize the trouble might actually rest with the sheep themselves. Afterall, we sheep are easily distracted & dragged -- dumb critters that we are. But what of those that bear, or have born the blows of a Shepherd's Crook? How many in our midst, or even our own selves, have tossed the Church-baby out with the proverbial bathwater at one time or another because of a cruel or deceiving or manipulative Shepherd(s)?
Though I may have given you the impression that I'm criticizing preachers-at-large, friends, the truth is that I'm preaching to myself today. It is a good day to reflect on what it truly means to be a disciple and a Shepherd/Shepherdess. I'm looking for a place to bury the "P" in my own life, and to move forward with a reach instead.
"If you think practicing what you preach is rough,
just try preaching what you practice."
~ Bowen Baxter
"Preaching is heady wine.
It is pleasant to tell people where they get off."
~ Sir Arnold Lunn
"A minister asked a little boy how to get to the Post Office.
After the little boy told him, the minister said,
Why don't you come to church tonight?
I'm giving instructions on how to get to heaven.
After thinking a minute, the boy replied,
I don't think so.
You don't even know how
to get to the Post Office."
~ Source Unknown