Last week I listened to the first episode of “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.” It was good, but heartbreaking. I don’t know if I’ll listen to all of the episodes or not because my heart just grieved. On so many levels I grieved. But mostly I grieved for those precious, beloved sheep who have been wounded and broken. They have been hurt by the very ones who were supposed to watch over them, feed them and grow them.
This morning my read was in Jeremiah chapters 23-25. So timely. Shepherds who abuse God’s sheep break His heart.
Shepherds, who are they? They are the pastors, elders and leaders. I also don’t believe Its a stretch to apply this to those who “shepherd” over women’s or children’s ministry.
Anyway, as I was reading Jeremiah I was reminded of Ezekiel 34 where God again has very strong words against those that abuse God’s precious sheep. They will be held accountable, Hebrews 13:17 says of church leaders, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give an account.”
Mars Hill is not the only church, unfortunately, that has had or will deal with abusive pastors or leaders. I pray they will be found out, that they will be humbled and seek restoration. I grieve for their souls too.
But my biggest heartache are the damaged sheep. I’ve “talked” to so many on social media who are just broken and devastated. Where do they turn? Where do they run?
Jeremiah 23:5-6 gives us that answer.
The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will raise up for David a a righteous Branch,
a King who will reign wisely
and do what is just and right in the land.
6In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
The Lord Our Righteous Savior.
JESUS! Jesus is the answer.
May we all remember that we are to follow the One True Shepherd, Jesus. He will not fail us. We need to stop putting church leaders on pedestals. We need to pray for them and hold them accountable.
Oh, dear one of God, you are so precious to Him. Please hear me when I say that your Great Shepherd, Jesus, loves you.