“This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing.” (Genesis 37:2 NLT)
“One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God.” (Exodus 3:1 NLT)
“Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.” “Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.” (1 Samuel 16:11 NLT)
Three men. Three powerful, influential leaders. They all spent time, though, as shepherds, caring for someone else’s flock. The principle here is one that we would all do well to remember. We don’t start as world leaders, presidents of companies, senior pastors, etc. We start by serving someone else and safeguarding their resources and vision.
Learning how to take care of another’s stuff is how God trains us to manage our own resources later. Jesus taught this to his disciples in the parable of the talents. The master entrusted his money to his servants to invest while he was away. Two of the servants immediately went to work and doubled the master’s money. The third servant was referred to as “wicked and lazy.” He merely hid the money in the ground until the master came home.
In another place, Jesus asked the the disciples, “And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?” (Luke 16: 12) What resources have you been entrusted with to manage? It is our faithfulness in this area that often dictates the level of responsibility that we will be given later.
Whose sheep are you tending? What kind of shape is the flock in?
Annie and I are serving the Lord in the US, India, and Brazil. We are training leaders and helping plant churches. Would you join our team? Your help will help us impact so many lives. Just click here to get involved. Thanks so much!