When people are appointed as Shepherds, they often think that they must meet all their house church members’ needs and help them solve all their problems. They don’t realize that there’s very little they can do when their house church members have serious problems.
For example, Shepherds are helpless when their house church members’ businesses have financial problems and are on the brink of bankruptcy, or when their members can’t find jobs and are unemployed for a long time, or when they can’t change their visa status and are close to being expelled from the U.S, or when they come down with sicknesses that even medical doctors cannot find the causes of or cures for.
If there isn’t that much that Shepherds can do, why do we appoint them at all? The reason is, although we humans can’t help them, God can. The primary task for Shepherds is not to help their house church members but to pray that God helps them. It’s only when God tells Shepherds to help them and shows how to do so, that Shepherds should help in obedience to God, as His servants. Servants are not responsible for their tasks. They are assigned them by their master. The servant’s job is to attend to their master and obey him.
If I hadn’t realized that I am a mere servant, I might have quit as pastor a long time ago. As our church grew bigger, our church members’ problems increased in number and magnitude. Many of these problems didn’t have obvious answers; many of them didn’t seem to have any solutions at all. If I had taken it as my responsibility to solve their problems, I would have so discouraged that I might have left a long time ago.
But I have tried to be faithful as God’s servant and prayed without ceasing for them. As I continued to do that, God opened new doors for them or solved their problems miraculously. Because of God, I am still here. We must not forget that God is the master and we are His servants in every area of our lives.
Parents must acknowledge that their children are not theirs but God’s. Every parent’s job is to pray for their children and raise them according to God’s will. Then God will take care of their children Himself. Business owners must acknowledge that their businesses are not theirs but God’s. Their job is to pray for their businesses and try to run them according to God’s will. Then God will take care of their businesses.