I was researching the subject of “lost sheep” as written in the Scriptures. It is quite a serious topic as seen in Matthew 15:24: “But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” The Lord’s personal mission was to the Jews. Under the first commission his apostles were directed to go only to the Jews (Mt 10:6). 30 years after the crucifixion, Peter tasks the shepherds to insure they feed their flocks (1 Peter 5). As I read more, I wondered how does a large church care for sheep that become lost in this big field we live in.
I found this on a web site from a person who has some interesting thoughts. (Author Unknown)
“Pastors may rejoice in the size of their congregation, but take little thought of those who stray from the faith. In fact few of such “spiritual leaders” are even aware of the condition of their flock, subjecting them to a purely lecture format with no feedback being allowed. People go to church; they listen to a lecture and go home, having little interaction with the pastor and with one another.
But a good shepherd knows his sheep. He takes time to and effort to lead them, even individually. The model that Jesus’ had presented for ministry was one of personal discipleship. Yes, He taught the multitudes, but in particular He discipled 12 men. And He managed to do this without building a building. These days who disciples the way Jesus did? Institutional churches were meant to facilitate the ministry, but have become ends in themselves. They have become entities like large corporations and those who don’t quite fit into its programs are often neglected. There is often little effort in such corporations to seek lost sheep.
But notice how Jesus ministers in the gospels. Even in the midst of crowds, He patiently takes time for individuals. One is reminded of the bleeding woman who touched Jesus in the crowd and Jesus was aware of it, but his disciples said:
You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?'” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.” Mark 5:31,32
When I have the opportunity to care for one sheep, I do my best to do it. The “Good Shepherd” as written in Mark, “kept looking…”
I pray that whoever touches my heart, I will be available to help that person at that moment.