Listening to Our Shepherd

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27-28, NIV*

Today my congregation is doing something new. Individuals have set aside extra time throughout the day to seek God’s direction for our church, and we’ll gather this evening to share what we’ve each heard.

I’m really excited about this, and I hope we’ll do it regularly, maybe once a quarter. As a body, we’ve spent too long letting the leadership listen for us. The problem then is that we have less motivation to follow what’s heard.

“Was it really God, or is that a human idea? I don’t like it, so it must not be God.”

The business world talks about “ownership” and it’s true that if the whole group has input there’s more commitment. In the church, it’s also true that God speaks to each of us. I think as we each learn to hear His voice and share what He gives us, we’ll end up with a richer, clearer picture of where to go.

Father, give us ears, hearts and spirits to hear You. Protect us from other voices. Help the church—local and global—help us as individuals—to grow up into Christ.

Todd Agnew’s song, “Shepherd” is really about people who’ve done their own thing and strayed way off-course. I don’t believe that’s true of my congregation at this point. We’ve been trying to be obedient, but we definitely need to hear—and follow—God. The chorus of this song is my prayer today.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

6 thoughts on “Listening to Our Shepherd

  1. gladwellmusau

    Oh Janet. It must be exciting when the church calls all its people to go and listen to God and then come together and share what He is saying. How I pray that many will follow such an example.

    God bless you as you listen,


  2. Margaret


    That is a wonderful way to do things…. And, they need to make sure even the most shy person can say what is on his heart.


  3. janetsketchley

    For a first time, I thought it went really well. I hope we do it again soon. It was so encouraging to see how what one person shared led into what the next person had been thinking, and overall it gave us a clearer message. I’m praying for our pastors and leadership as they process all the input… and hopefully receive more from anyone who wasn’t comfortable to speak in the small group.

  4. Ginny Jaques

    This is a great idea, Janet. Our church should do this. It seems like so many churches are needing guidance for the future these days. Things are changing so fast around us. We need guidance as to how to change with the world when we should and how to stand firm when we shouldn’t.


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