God has always protected and provided for His sheep. According to these human and spiritual attributes, His intent for pastors is to serve as shepherds and to tend to His sheep. However, there are 28 Bible verses about inadequate shepherding. Dr. Bruce Rosdahl noted from Psalm 23 and John 10 that God’s resolve for each inadequate shepherding was that He would rescue His people. He would search for them and bring them home. He would care and restore them. He would lead them to green pastures and give them rest. Holman Bible Dictionary defined a pastor as a shepherd or one who keeps animals, used figuratively for those called by God to feed, care for, and lead His people, who are His flock.
God’s intent for shepherds was to feed the sheep or provide the sheep with knowledge and understanding of Him. “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15).
One can observe and assess that God is deliberate in the care of His sheep. God’s intent for pastors is to care for His sheep with willing hearts and not for selfish gain. He never presented the shepherd’s role as a job with material benefits. God declared the role of caretaker as a representation of Him and His unfailing love. Scriptures provide numerous examples of God’s intention for pastors to care for His sheep:
God’s intent for pastors as shepherds is to lead His sheep in the path of safety, provision, and wholeness. Sheep follow the guidance of their shepherd. “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow” (John 10:3-4).
The role of the pastor is to keep the sheep from scattering into destructive areas, such as those areas that will spiritually deplete instead of spiritually add to their Christian lives. God’s intent for pastors is to lead by example. If the pastor has an intimate relationship with Christ, the sheep will learn to develop an intimate relationship with Him. Sheep are always totally dependent on their shepherd. The sheep hear, respond, and follow the shepherd’s voice. If the pastor is scattered, the sheep will scatter as well.