1. Sherlock Holmes

    Excellent article, Dick! You & I were having a chat on another website and you mentioned that you write here, so I was pleased to see your article on the topic you identified yourself as — a sheepdog! Although you are spot on with your observations, I hate to say it but it saddens me that so many of us are having this experience with our churches today. I attend a large Methodist church and, while it is filled with people each week, I’m fairly confident that is more due to the fact that it’s a huge building with lots of “benefits” and fun things to do, a virtual light show going on while the loud music is pumping onstage, and a pastor who literally REFUSES to take a stand on anything he deems as a “social issue”!! He says many times he has been asked to do so but that his job is to preach the gospel and let GOD take care of the rest 🙁 Ugh, no wonder the majority of people in the congregation are spiritual infants and embrace positions on things like homosexuality, abortion, and other hot topics that are completely opposite of what the Bible says! As T.I. Miller, Anna, Chris, and J Parry all have experienced, it seems that my pastor too is more concerned with tickling ears and not “offending” people than with preaching ALL of what God’s word says. No wonder our world is a MESS!

  2. nannette

    Amen, and Amen! Thank you for this and all the comments as well. I’m learning from you all and is not that what it is all about? Growth & Edification. That’s why I come here. Blessings!

  3. Susan Witt

    Great examples J Parry, regarding the dogs senses being superior to the senses of a man; and the superiority of the strength and cleverness of the wolf. Entering a church as a sheepdog the wolf or wolves in the flock of God’s sheep recognize you, and are promptly at the front door to greet you! And without the backing of the shepherd of the flock, you are overwhelmed by the darkness and hidden evil of this person (or persons) – sometimes in leadership. Without naming names you mention to the Senior Pastor that there may be a problem that is preventing the church from growing. But as many have written, these pastors are dismissive, or find you, a mere lay person, not as discerning as themselves – as T. I. Miller clearly points out.

  4. Anna Rosa

    Yes, I too am a ‘sheepdog.’ I have sent out many warnings in many ways. The results are the same as they are with others, they fall on deaf ears and blind eyes, which is pretty predictable by now. But onward we march… !

  5. Chris Rarick

    J Parry I can totally relate with you. I am also in the same situation as yourself. When as an elder in my church during my three year term ,my suspicions were confirmed that we were not just Flirting with seeker- Sensitive/Purpose Driven but we’re in deed sold out to it. We were required as elders to read church growth leadership related material. During my three year term we read eight books on church growth. My three years was spent as an information gathering period , there were times when it seemed we didn’t fit the seeker/Purpose Driven mold so as a result I didn’t speak up as much as I should have, though I did make it clear to the pastor what my position was concerning seeker-Sensitive/Purpose Driven. Now I am exposing our involvement in this movement to all the leadership and all of my friends who will listen. I wrote a detailed letter Confirming my claims that these concepts have been promoted not only in the required reading but also within the sermons. The ignorance level throughout the church is staggering. All that I can hope for is that people will do their own research as I have done.Along with my lengthy letter I have included 12 articles exposing various issues of concern which I mentioned in my letter. I will probably be viewed as divisive.

  6. Norleen Cheser

    What is being described is more of a livestock guard dog (which protect) than a sheepdog (which herd). A shepherd knows who his sheepdogs and livestock guard dogs are, because he put them there & appreciates their purpose. Some pastors & church reject this kind of help. From my experience with such dogs, livestock guard dogs can both blend in and stand out. It depends on the needs of the flock. A Christian gifted in discernment and alerting to danger also blends in, or stands out depending on the need at any given time. Most of the time, the guard dog blends in and you hardly notice him. But, when danger is sensed, the dog alerts & gathers the flock. If the threat persists, the dog begins to come out in front of the herd and confront the threat directly and if necessary is willing to take on the attack itself and even die for its flock. If a livestock guard dog is introduced to a flock that’s not used to having one, it can be soundly rejected. If it stays, some will eventually except it, but not all. Those who understand and appreciate the dog’s purpose will come to trust it, love it & seek it out to be near it, knowing they can rest and relax because it is always watching out for them. I’ve witnessed similar reactions in churches to those gifted in discernment & warning.

  7. T. I. Miller

    There is really nothing that I can add to this exhortation. I can only confirm that neither pastors or elders are open to receiving warnings from me. All spiritual gifts are God given for the good of the entire church. Pastors are quenching the spirit when they work against a sheep dog. Is it pride is it insecurity? After all they have a degree from a seminary and I do not. They are loath to admit that they could be deceived by things a layman can discern. Irrespective of how respectfully and lovingly i am they all are either dismissive at best or hostile at worst. As a result I have no church family. My only means of exercising my gift is through LTRP and other like minded stewards. We are warned that a great delusion will be sent. I believe it is presently being sent.

  8. Tony Barrera

    Dear Brother, Thank you for the affirming words. The Lord’s peace upon you and your household. Another Sheepdog working in Japan.

  9. J Parry

    Thank you so very much for this! I am in a situation where the shepherds seem reluctant to take my warnings seriously. The question, “Why are you the only one…?” (who was seeing danger) was a trouble at first – was I mistaken after all? Yet the Lord’s warning was very clear and impossible to ignore But with the sheepdog analogy it becomes obvious. A dog is a “Lesser creature” than a man, yet the dog’s senses are far sharper, as they need to be, in order to do its job. Neither is a dog usually as strong or clever as a wolf, but, with the shepherd’s backing) can still help to keep the sheep safe. Without that backing it can be rather lonely But pleasing the Chief Shepherd is the main thing. So I thank Him for where He has placed me and try to do as He instructs.

  10. Susan Witt

    This important, timely posting brings to mind what someone once said: “The person who enters the fold with pretense, being no one but a wolf in sheep’s clothing, worries the flock more than the lion outside.” Most likely an experience most have encountered in churches these days.

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