Author: Ron Graham


Older People as Shepherds
—The role of elders in the community, church, and nation

We continue our lessons on shepherds and sheep. Last lesson we looked at how the Bible sees a need for people to have shepherds to lead them, and we talked about the role of parents as shepherds of their children, and the role of children in accepting parental leadership. Now we look at some other shepherding roles.

1 Older People as Shepherds

Young people often think that older folk are over the hill and around the bend, and that's where they'll be led if they follow the wisdom and advice of a wrinkly. Admittedly, older people can be pretty stupid at times. They don't always know what's best, and they often have much to learn and little inclination to learn it. On the other hand, young people need shepherds, and their peers don't often make very good shepherds. In our communities, there is a great need for elders who are able to perform a shepherding role, and to be respected in that role.

2 Shepherds in the Church

Jesus requires his church to be led by shepherds —something about which the majority of churches are remarkably amiss.

3 Our Nation's Leaders

We have been talking about examples of shepherding at the grass roots. But let us now think on a national scale, and consider the leadership of our nation. We are fortunate in Australia to have a variety of institutions, each with its own head to provide governance and leadership of state and nation. God sets a standard for the shepherds of a nation, and this is expressed in his word to the shepherds of Israel. The examples below are very negative and condemnatory, but they show the responsibility which God binds upon the leaders of a nation. Hopefully the shepherds of our nation, Australia, will be far more responsible than were the shepherds of Israel...