Healthy Sheep Reproduce

Swinford, UK - photo by Sam Carter ( by Sam Carter

St. Francis reputedly said, “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” A friend told me the other day that she doesn’t “preach” to her non-believing husband, but rather prays he’ll be drawn to Jesus by seeing him in her. She has a point. Because if he’s not in us, he won’t be in our words.

And if he is, as St. Francis implied, we may not even need words.

The pastor of my first church had been trained to “preach salvation” every Sunday, and to pump his congregation to “bring the unsaved.” But they rarely did. So his sermons always concluded with haranguing his congregants for not caring about “the lost sheep!”

Then one day he prayed, “Something’s wrong, Lord. I should be feeding my flock, not beating them!” (Pastor is the Greek word for “shepherd.”) And so, while he cared passionately about the lost, he disobeyed his denomination’s directives, and instead began teaching verse-by-verse Bible lessons.

His congregation loved it. They were bubbling over with excitement about the things they were learning. And it showed! But what about all of those lost sheep?

Interestingly, the empty seats began to fill as his congregants’ neighbors started showing up. What had changed? His congregants’ lives. And their friends and family members, even strangers, had noticed. They were “preaching the gospel at all times” by being so full of Jesus that others couldn’t help but observe and ask what it was that filled them with such hope, peace and excitement. “How can I have what you have?” people asked.

Pastor Chuck could almost see God grinning when he realized that this was how God had intended things to work all along. Because undernourished sheep huddle together, well, “sheepishly,” but…

Healthy sheep reproduce.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Healthy Sheep Reproduce

  1. joyroses13 says:

    You nailed it. Our actions speak louder than words! My husband walked away from God, he knows the bible like the back of his hand. I want to be a witness of the difference God’s love makes in my life. Which doesn’t mean posting scriptures everywhere in the house, not that I haven’t tried things like that before. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great story, Mitch. I was wondering what your topic was going to be given your imaginative title.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This, this is everything!!! ‘Peter, feed my sheep!’ 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻😍

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so great! Feeding on God’s Word is where we sheep are filled and gain strength and learn to love others like Jesus. This story is such a perfect example of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. revruss1220 says:

    Here’s to healthy, reproductive sheep! And here’s to Pastor Chuck, who had the humility and wisdom to follow the Spirit’s lead instead of the institution’s.

    Thanks for this great reminder, Mitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Healthy Sheep Reproduce – Whitt’s Word Scribbles

  7. Pingback: Healthy Sheep Reproduce – NarrowPathMinistries

  8. Great story, Mitch. “They were “preaching the gospel at all times” by being so full of Jesus that others couldn’t help but observe…”

    That statement brings to mind the face of Moses glowing after he spent time with God. May our time in Jehovah’s presence cause a transformation that radiates a visible, noticeable difference in our life. A change that people are drawn to. Shalom.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Good stuff, Mitch. I especially noticed this: The pastor “instead began teaching verse-by-verse Bible lessons. His congregation loved it.” And then their lives changed, drawing others to the Lord. Yes! There is power in the Word of God to transform us.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Healthy Sheep Reproduce | Restored Ministries Blog

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