Summertime Shepherding (Pt. 1)

Ah Summer! Its every college student’s favorite time of the year. No homework, no waking up early for class, no crazy schedule to deal with. All that is on the agenda is late nights and warm beach days. Its the perfect time of year to be a college student, especially if you live in So-Cal.

The same thing goes for college ministers right? Summer is a time to step back and finally take a break. We have been running hard for nine months, so the three months we have off are a dream come true. Am I right? No. Not exactly

You see, one does not simply take a break from shepherding. Just because programed ministry takes a break (in some cases it doesn’t) that doesn’t mean that shepherds take a break.

One does not simply take a break from shepherding.

A few weeks ago I shared with some of my leaders that I was pumped on Summer. The reason I was pumped was because I finally would get to take a break from shepherding students. I would finally be able to get some time to myself. I wouldn’t have to worry about all of their problems or all of the drama involved in college life. I wouldn’t have to worry about discipling anybody and I wouldn’t have to worry about shepherding anybody. Yes I would still be the student’s friends, but I would no longer be responsible for them. It would be awesome!

All of my leaders gave me a horrified look. Rightly so.

After the leaders looked at me in disgust – I finally explained that I was trying to make a point. Imagine of Jesus shepherded us in that way? Imagine if Jesus ever said to us…

Man, can you just give me a break? Just a couple of months where I don’t have to stress out about all the crap that is going on in your life. Just give me a few weeks off where I don’t have to worry about discipling you or shepherding you. Yes I will still be your friend, I will even be friendly to you, but for a few weeks I am not going to be responsible for your spiritual well being.

The truth is that Jesus, the true and better shepherd, would never say anything like that to us. Jesus doesn’t take a break from shepherding us – if we want to be like Jesus we shouldn’t take a break from shepherding students either.

Just because the “programing” ends, that doesn’t mean that shepherding does too.

Next time we will take a quick look at a couple of passages in Scripture that are especially relevant to our role as shepherds during summer vacation.

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