Shepherd: Ministry definition: a person who tends to the spiritual care and needs of a congregation.
Preacher: Ministry definition: a person who preaches the gospel
The act of preaching is a sacred act that helps a congregation come to a better understanding of the Scripture. A shepherd is a person who tends to the congregation and helps them grow in their relationship with Christ. Has the Christian church forgotten haw to shepherd?
Joh 21:15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
Joh 21:16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
Joh 21:17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Jesus tell Peter to tend and feed the sheep. The act of the pastor is not only to feed, through preaching, but, also, to tend the sheep. If the sheep are only preached to, they will find themselves with other maladies that will distract them from feeding. Tending the sheep means that one helps to move, direct, or develop one’s course in a particular direction (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tend).
As the Church, we must be careful not to find ourselves out of balance. If our congregations are consumed by distractions of this world, they will never be able to serve Christ to their full potential. We must shepherd as well as preach.