REVIEW: The Leader 101 Course: Cultivating Habits of Highly Effective Spiritual Leaders
- Lesson One (June 2015). Cultivating the habit of joy
- Lesson Two (July 2015). Cultivating the habit of praying 10:2b
- Lesson Three (August 2015). Cultivating the habit of looking expectantly for 10:2b answer
- Lesson Four (September 2015). Cultivating the habit of carrying people (especially 10:2b answers) in your heart.
- Lesson Five (October 2015). Cultivating the habit of shepherding your flock. (Key passage: Mt. 9:36-38)
*Watch the video below and then come back to this place
Note: The assignments in this Lesson are not intended to be completed in one session. Rather, we encourage you to work through the material below slowly over the month and allow the Coach to teach you.
1. What emotion was Jesus feeling in Mt. 9:36? (How would He have “checked in” on that day?)
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them… Mt. 9:36
“Had compassion on them”. Better… “was moved with compassion”. From the Greek word splagchnon. “The intestines, the bowels”. “It describes the pity and the compassion which move a man to the very deepest depths of his being.” (Barclay) The Message version: When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke.
2. What exactly did Jesus see that broke His heart?
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless… Mt. 9:36
“Harassed”. From the Greek word skullo. “To flay, lacerate.” “It can describe a corpse which is flayed and mangled; someone who is plundered by rapacious men, or vexed by those without pity, or treated with wanton insolence; someone who is utterly wearied by a journey which seems to know no end.” (Barclay) (Note: the picture is above very graphic! Ask God to show you the spiritual equivalent of this kind of physical wound.)
“Helpless”. From the Greek word ripto. “to throw away or abandon”. It can be used for the exposure of unwanted infants or a corpse thrown into a field.
These two words bring to mind what Jesus said about the flock in John 10:12. So when he (the hired hand) sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. See also Acts 20:28-31.
From John Eldredge: “This is the heart of our Enemy. He is determined to hinder and harm and ruin God’s image bearers. To steal and kill and destroy… the story of your life is the story of the long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears it.” Waking the Dead, p. 149.
3. What was the reason the people were in such terrible condition?
Jesus here identifies the critical missing element. These people had no shepherd!
4. What action did Jesus take as a result of His anguish over the condition of the people?
Then, he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Mt. 9:37-38
In the context of this passage, it becomes clear that the “workers” Jesus is referring to are those who will do the “work” of shepherding the flock. And, the primary way to get more of these shepherds is to “beseech the Lord of the harvest for them”. (ie, pray 10:2b. The “action item” for Jesus was to pray this prayer Himself and to teach His disciples to pray in the same way. The motivation for praying 10:2b was His broken heart!
Here’s the big idea… Jesus, who Himself is the Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:11), was broken hearted over the unshepherded people. From this heart flowed a passionate and laser-focused strategy for the rapid and massive multiplication of quality shepherds.
5. What else did the disciples understand about shepherds? (As you read the following passages, practice reading until the Coach stops you. Our best learning comes from dialogue with Him.)
- Read Mt. 10:1-16. This passage follows from Mt. 9:38. (No chapters or verses in the original text!) We see in v. 1-4, that Jesus has already been praying 10:2b and the Lord of the harvest had already sent to him 12 apostles (apostle = sent one. See Mt. 10:5). We might call apostles “shepherd finders”. Jesus is not only instructing His disciples to pray 10:2b, he is demonstrating this process of multiplying both apostles and shepherds! He is teaching by modeling.
- In Mt 10:11, Jesus instructs His disciples in whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. The word “worthy” from the Greek word axios which literally refers to a balance scale operated by off-setting weights. So, it means “to assign a matching value, that which is of like value, corresponding.” In this context, it means to find a person who by heart and skill is equal to the task of shepherding the flock. This is the person Jesus calls a “person of peace” in Luke 10:6.
- More from Mt 10. As in Luke 10, notice that the house is the center of action. As Roger Gehring says, the household is “the base of operations for the Kingdom of God in that neighborhood”. I believe we are once again talking about house churches. The primary flock for each of these shepherds is the church that meets in his (her) home. Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care. 1 Pet 5:2.
- Read John 10:1-18. Once again, the disciples are seeing from Jesus the critical importance of a shepherd and how Jesus Himself has fulfilled that role. No doubt they are also learning how they were to function as under shepherds.
- Read 1 Pet. 5:1-4. More insights into the heart and work of a shepherd is found in this passage. What we learn there is that elder = shepherd = overseer. These terms are referring to the same person! (No doubt, Peter learned these things from Jesus!)
- Read Ezek. 34:1-10. The disciples certainly knew that this concern for good shepherding was not new. What level of intensity do you see there from the Lord about good and bad shepherding?
Implications and applications
- Do I have Jesus’ heart on this issue of shepherding? Does my heart break for the things that break His heart? When I look at the “crowds” (either people I know or the large masses of people that I don’t know) do I see what He sees? Principle of shepherding: well shepherded sheep don’t generally leave the flock. But, in the US we know that there are 65 million people who are “Dones”. They are done with the flock they were once part of. What does that say about the quality of the shepherding? How does this impact my passionate praying of 10:2b?
- How do these passages shape the kinds of 10:2b answers I’m asking for? The insights from the various passages help me understand what kind of person to ask for and to look for. People who are “worthy”. That is, their heart and skills are equivalent to the role of good shepherding.
- What do I learn about shepherding for myself? Where am I doing a good job? Where do I need to improve?
- Share what you learn from the Coach with your CO2 partner and with your Leader Team.
Click on the picture below to watch the video…