Verse 3 of the 23rd Psalm continues…
He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Sheep if left alone with overgraze grass until the land is destroyed. A shepherd must keep them on the move. The sheep can’t be moved too fast or they will lose too much weight. Moved too slow and they can chew the grass down below the roots. Often the shepherd will have a plan (or path) to follow to best rotate the fields. He takes his sheep on that path so that they don’t create a rut.
God leads us in the same way, along His paths. Jesus said that his sheep hear and follow His voice. Sometimes i think in this day and age pastors can fall into a trap of not “needing” God in their ministry. I know that sounds crazy but think about it. We have ore information than ever before at our finger tips. We can read books on growth strategy and leadership. I heard a friend attending a church planting intensive say “I think you could grow a church with their strategies and not even be saved.” That’s scary.
I thank God for smart people who have figured out strategies for growing God’s kingdom. This is important because we all know churches and pastors stuck in traditions not rooted in God’s Word but not necessarily bad. They have worn a rut in their field and things are just a muddy mess. There’s no grass left and the pastures are barren.
We need to be sure that we are being led by God in the paths we take people on. It’s not enough to just have a plan you got at a conference. You can’t change things with every new idea or strategy that comes out. Its not enough to just do things the way they’ve always been done either. We have to have the balance of seeking God and following His paths. Keep leading the sheep in His prescribed direction. Seeks His voice in His Word and in prayer. Before you get a Word for them get a Word from Him.