North Augusta, South Carolina
From the Pastor’s Desk ….. June 2015
As we pen this documentary for the month of June, we do so under the theme "The Good Shepherd."
As we look at this theme, I ask each of you to analyze it for a moment, and then translate it from Good Shepherd to Good Father. In so doing, you would bring this theme into what we, as a people, have set aside as a means to give recognition to our earthly fathers, during the month of June.
As Jesus was, and is, the good shepherd to the sheep of His Father, so shall we, as earthly fathers be good shepherds to the sheep God, the Father, has entrusted in our care.
Now, normally speaking, we think of shepherds as pastors.
For this documentary, we are going to convert good shepherds and good fathers into "Good Leaders." Good Leaders lend itself to both men and women.
Now! The question may be asked, "Why are we talking about women, when it comes to good shepherds and good fathers? After all, is this not the month we celebrate or give recognition to fathers? Women are not fathers!"
Yes! This is the month we give recognition to fathers. And, believe me when I say, we give unto the fathers that are good fathers their rightful due as fathers. But, we must also consider in times like these, because there are so many fathers who have neglected their responsibilities as fathers, we now have women - mothers that are forced to take on the father's role or responsibility.
In the text coming from the gospel of John, the 10th chapter verses 14 through 15, we have a parable shared by Jesus that not only depict the character of the good shepherd or good father, but also reflects the character of a good leader.
Before we address the characteristics of a good shepherd, good father or a good leader, we must establish who these personalities are to lead.
In our text, the parable Jesus gave was centered on a Shepherd. Now! You don't have to be a graduate of Tuskegee, Spelman or any institution of higher learning to know that wherever there is a shepherd, sheep are nearby.
Having shared this! Let us talk about sheep for a moment. First and far-most, have you ever wondered why no sport teams ever use sheep as a mascot? If you asked children to name an animal they would like to be, none would say, "I'll like to be a sheep." Have you ever wondered why?
If you go to a circus, you would never see a sign or advertisement saying come see the dancing sheep or the trained sheep doing something significant. The only thing we see about sheep is on the Serta bed mattress commercials. That, of course, is to reflect the mattress is soft like lamb wool.
The wool on a sheep's back does not reflect the sheep's intelligence. Sheep are stubborn; they easily wander off and they never learn from their mistakes. Sheep are defenseless and dependent. They are easily frightened and confused, to the extent they plunge off cliffs.
As you can see from the general make up of sheep, they need guidance and protection, that only a good shepherd, good father or good leader can give.
Let us bear in mind that children need guidance and protection. People in the business arena need guidance and protection. Church folks need guidance and protection. Sinners need guidance and protection.
The world, at-large needed guidance and protection so much so until Isaiah 53:6 summed it this way, "We are all like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid upon him -Jesus- the sins of us all."
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we need good leaders, good shepherds and good fathers to help us overcome our stubbornness; to take away our wandering and inattention to details and to keep us from falling off the cliff into the snares of this wicked world of sin.
God, through the blood shed of Jesus Christ, is looking for good shepherds, good fathers and good leaders to lead his wandering sheep back to the fold.
Now! What makes a good shepherd, good father and good leader?
Jesus makes it plain when says, "The first quality of a good leader is to come through the sheepfold. Come through the sheepfold means you must be real; you must be who you are. You must not try to be someone else. You must not pretend; you must be straight up. Don't tell lies, cheat, steal or attempt to slick your way. Those around you will take on your personality.
Secondly, you must be the door by which others can see a passage way out of. As a good leader, you be an example setter. Jesus said, "I am the door, if any man enters, he shall be saved." He shall go out with something to help someone else.
Saints, go and help somebody get saved. Saved from the world of sin; saved from injustice; saved from poverty; saved from low incomes; create job opportunities and housing opportunities.
Last, but not least, don't make babies you cannot take care. Raise them from the crib through undergraduate school.
Our society does not need any more streetwalkers, loafers and hindrances to society. Our society needs some good shepherds, some good fathers and some good leaders. Go!
Jesus said the good shepherd will lay down his life for his sheep.
He that has an ear let him hear me when I say if what you are doing; if what you are responsible for; if what you are engaged in is not worth dying for, then you ought to seek the Lord for another mission.
Jesus said the Good Shepherd knows his sheep and his sheep knows his voice. Fathers, you ought to know your children. Your children ought to respect your voice and your home.
Good leaders ought to know their children, know their bosses; know their boundaries and led like God is watching them at all times, because He is.
I ask that each of you, join me and let us become good shepherds, good fathers and good leaders, not only during the month of June but every day of our lives. To God be the glory!
Happy Father's Day!
Rev. Dr. Alexander Pope, Jr.
Sermon Topic for June 2015
The Good Shepherd
He that keepeth the commandments keeps his soul
First Providence Baptist Church
315 Barton Road
North Augusta, SC 29841
Phone: (803) 279-8836
Fax: (803) 441-8666