Strike the Shepherd and the sheep scatter!
Zechariah 13:7 says, “Strike the Shepherd and the sheep scatter.” It’s a prophecy about what was going to happen to Jesus and his disciples and Jesus himself uses it in the context of Matthew 26:30-35 to describe what was about to unfold as he was arrested and crucified.
Ephesians 4:8, 11 tells us that when Christ ascended to heaven, he gave gifts to men. Christ has given to the church the gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 gives us insight into the qualifications for elder-pastors of a local church. These qualifications are stringent and emphasize character above competency.
The devil targets church leaders because he knows that if he can destroy church leaders, he can destroy churches. Ten years ago when I was studying at Bible College we were informed of a stat that has increased since then but there were approximately 10,000 former pastors in Australia at the time, whom for various reasons had quit the ministry or were forced to step back because of extenuating circumstances.
The condition of the leader affects the condition of the church. Burnt out leaders fatigue a congregation and cause the sheep to weary. Immoral leaders weaken the purity and holiness of the church and bring the church into disrepute. When a leader is distant from Jesus the temptation is to live and minister in the flesh. When a leader is impurely motivated, the potential for corruption and compromise is heightened.
Protect your shepherd by praying for them, supporting them, serving Jesus with them and submitting to them (Hebrews 13:7, 17). This isn’t popular in Australia but it’s Bible. Don’t be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2).
Lead the Change!