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The LOST SHEEP that wandered away, did not hate the Shepherd or Sheep Fold

 
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Post The LOST SHEEP that wandered away, did not hate the Shepherd or Sheep Fold doyle
In the Parable of the "Lost Sheep," (Matthew 18:12-14), there is no indication the sheep hated the Shepherd or disliked the Sheep Fold. It had just wandered away. Other things had captured its attention and time.

The sheep that wandered away did not come looking for the Shepherd. It was the concerned Shepherd who went looking for the sheep. The Shepherd INITIATED the search.

Churches must continuously work to keep track of those who have wandered away; cards, texts, notes, "Just thinking of you." No guilt trips, angry tirades about those awful unfaithful people. Most people don't want to be around people who are angry or condescending to them.

USE DIFFERENT CONTACT METHODS
A mixture of contact methods is important. Emails and texts are OK but (YAWN), after awhile, they become just another blimp on the screen. Every now and then, mail them something. They have to personally touch and handle what they receive in the mail. A survey among the United Methodists, revealed people are reluctant to discard in the trash what they get in the mail from their church.

Since women usually pick up the mail and take time to look through it, gear what you mail, to them; family items, events and activities for children.

THE CHANGE IN THINKING
People know they can make direct contact with God at home, in their car, on the back porch or like the Lord's Disciples did, while fishing. One of the big changes in people's thinking today, is they no longer view the church building as their CENTER of contact with God.

When we quote "Forsake not the assembling of ourselves together" (Hebrews 10:25), they already know Matthew 18:20. "Where two or three or gathered together in my Name, there I will be also."

So, if several people gather at home to watch Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah or Billy Graham Crusade reruns, they feel the command "not forsaking the assembling" has been met. It really is a challenge for churches to meet.

We don't own people. They only come when we have something to offer that is of interest or meaning to them. We preachers are exactly the same. We don't attend events or functions that have little or no meaning to us. A not-so-well known fact is, that when preachers are not pastoring, they too find it much easier to find other things to do instead of church.

WE ARE THE INITIATORS
In many cases, the "meaning" for people is not the event or activity. It may be that they simply want to "feel" connected. INITIATE the connection. Don't wait for them to get connected. The blessing of initiating contact has been placed upon us.

"Go ye into all the world..." We are the initiators of contact.

Keep those who have wandered away on the contact list. Don't lecture them about their absence, but just keep your Church before them. Set up an Internet APP for your church where you can send what is called "PUSH" notifications to their cell phone. Type a note, "push" one button and your note can be sent to everybody on your contact list.

YOUR REACH MUST EXCEED YOUR GRASP
Continuously build your contact list. In most cases, only a small percent of those contacted will respond.

HOW OFTEN have you watched David Jeremiah or another favorite religious broadcaster without responding to them? Not responding does not mean you dislike them. So, even though you may not immediately hear from those with whom you are in contact, keep building your contact list. Do what you can until you can do what you want.

DON'T FLOOD them with messages. They will come to resent hearing from you. However, at least every two weeks, let them know that you and your church are still thinking of them.

When they are hurting; hospital, bad diagnosis, family problems, heart breaking news, divorce, death in family, you may hear from them.

D
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Last edited by doyle on 4/7/21 9:55 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post Cojak
Very good points here. Many of us in the pew have heard things like, "We are better off without them!" In some cases that may be true, but it is a 'sticky point that hurts' and is better not said.

BUT it is very true sheep wander off without the attention of the shepherd (or his dog!) LOL

On the other side, There have been wounded sheep who should have been treated.
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4/4/21 11:45 am


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Post skinnybishop
Agree with the original post for the most part. Pastors should care enough to initiate contact.

I would like to mention that some "sheep" have no intention of being caught.

In the parable, the shepherd actually had control of the sheep.
As you said, a pastor does not. The decision, ultimately, rests with the individual.
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4/7/21 5:04 am


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Post SCFIRE
That was a good post. Enjoyed it. Thanks
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4/7/21 7:18 am


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