Luke 15:4 (NKJV) 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
I’ll never forget the day it dawned me that in Jesus’ parable about the lost sheep it was the shepherd that lost the sheep. In my mind it had always been the irresponsible and rebellious sheep that had wondered off. Jesus would have none of that—the sheep wandering off was laid squarely at the feet of the shepherd.
Notice that Jesus didn’t castigate or criticize the shepherd—life happens and sometimes we shepherds lose sheep.
But he did say that a normal shepherd would go after the lost sheep until he found it.
Application: A part of being a shepherd is going after sheep. Every work day should include time for going after lost sheep.
One suggestion I have for you is to make five pastoral contacts a day (this is above returning calls, answering texts, etc.).
This can be by visits, phone call, personal emails, private Facebook messages and texts, etc. The more they see your face and/or hear your voice the better.
Five contacts a day will take you between 60-90 minutes (sprinkled throughout your day). Five calls per day is enough, there will always be one more person to call; you must learn to finish your work every day.
Do that four days a week and you will have touched twenty families—approximately 60 people per week.
Start with the “found” sheep; this regular personal contact will go a long way toward you not losing your sheep (preventative shepherding). But also use these calls to go after your lost sheep (your people can give you names) and to discover new sheep (visitors, contacts giving to you, prayer requests given to you, community leaders, etc.)
Do this faithfully over a month’s time and you will have probably impacted your entire church; do this over a year’s time and you will have impacted a community; do this over a life time and you will have impacted the world.
Bottom line, don’t just take calls, make calls—go after those sheep.