The lost sheep

July 25th, 2008

I have been reflecting on the lost sheep parable the last few days (Luke 15:3-7). This is the one that talks about a shepherd with 100 sheep and one goes missing. The shepherd leaves the 99 and goes to look for the one to bring it back into the fold. When he finds it he rejoices at the find.

There are two reasons I think I have been looking at this passage. One is because I am going to be doing a Pastoral Care unit this semester and the other is that I feel I have been prompted by God to reflect on it.

Traditionally I have been good at noticing when someone is struggling and slipping out of the fold. I generally am able to pick up on the signals and then I pray. It is then it is usually confirmed and I keep praying. I try to speak to the person at church and encourage them, but normally that is where I have left it. I have never been good at following them up during the week by giving them a call or a visit.

I have friends who are brilliant at this and I see the difference it makes to people. Many times I have seen people who are slipping away being returned to church or home groups as a result. A few simple calls or visits can make a huge difference to them long term.

I have a feeling this is one of the major areas God is going to speak to me about over the next few months. If I really get this message and take it on board I feel my ministry effectiveness will dramatically increase.

How about you? Have you got people in your life that might benefit from a call or a visit? A few calls or visits over a couple of weeks might make a huge difference long term.