The Good Shepherd Part 4- Don't Serve the Church
download this mp3
Right-click on the link above and choose "Save Link As"
to download this audio.

Delivered By
Brian Winburn
Delivered On
December 10, 2017
Central Passage
John 10:12-13, 18
The Good Shepherd

John 10:12-13 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.13He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

Our church has been doing leadership/discipleship training over the course of the last 3 years. They know this passage well, because it is one of the first lessons taught.

Most churches want a hireling. In fact, all churches will try to make you a hireling whether knowingly or unknowingly. Take a minute and write down what you think of when you hear the phrase, hireling?

Someone you paid to do the work, your employee, the help, etc.

Is a hireling someone you look up to? Someone’s opinion you follow?

  1. The divide- there is a difference between a shepherd and hireling.
    1. They lack affection for the sheep. They don’t own the sheep, therefore they are only there to do the job. One of the questions we ask is, When was the last time you spent time with God that was not in preparation for teaching or preaching?


The hireling shows up to do the job and then leaves the job. The Good shepherd gave His life for the sheep. He deeply cares for the sheep. Another question is this, Can others see that you are leading out of the overflow of your devotion time? Can they tell that you just showed up to read the lesson or the sermon? Can they sense the calling of God on your life?


  1. A shepherd is called. Do you know your calling? Can you describe your calling? What did you have to give up to follow your calling? Are there any limits you have placed on your calling?


  1. This is where things get real. Did the church call you or did God? If the church called you then you must do as the church called you to do. If God has called you then you must do as God has called you to do. What’s the difference?
  2. The source of the call also reveals the source of your leadership, power, and authority.


  1. The shepherd’s leadership will not go away when the people wont follow or the wolves attack. There is a saying that is worth remember, There are 3 parts, My Part, God’s Part, and Their Part. When the shepherd leads, His message will stay the same, he may have to change the context or means through which he proclaims the message, but the message is the same. Just as God is the same, yesterday, today and forever, His context or means of communicating differs based on the situation or context.


f.The Hireling is Afraid. When he sees trouble he runs. He doesn’t want to lead, he wants to be paid. He values his life, reputation, and well being above that of the flock.

  1. The Hireling Avoids leadership. When he sees trouble he runs, but when he can’t run avoids the conflict altogether. A hireling will say things like, well I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Show me the verse that puts a person’s feelings before God and I will show a list of commandments that start by saying don’t do that.
  2. The Hireling needs approval to lead. In other words, he’s not leading at all. He simply asks for the popular answer and then claims it as his own. Remember the people are paying him. Payment by the way is not just money. In fact, in most churches the hirelings are the people that the church knows won’t ever go against the popular vote. Those people will stand on what the people say and fight for the popular opinion, because their payment is the spot light. They get paid in people honor. We give them a title and run to them to stand up to anyone that is leading. When people come to you and tell you what they want you to do, you aren’t leading, you doing what they commanded you to do. A leader hears the issue and is asked to lead to the change that is needed. His authority is as deep as the people who sent him.
  3. Those who hear. You know throughout this passage Jesus shows us the difference between the saved and the lost, the obedient and disobedient, the hireling and the shepherd. The major difference is: will they listen and obey? When your authority is the people who sent you, then you are the listener and obeyer. The hireling will not waste his time trying to lead you, because he has no desire to do so. The leader will try to keep conveying the message that God has sent through him, in order to build up consensus among the people. The shepherd will keep preaching and teaching the same message in order to call everyone to it. The hireling is going to tell you things like, this is what everyone else wants. The hirelings will say things like, people have been talking? Who are these people?  The hireling will use the excuse, everyone is mad. Who is everyone? Why did they only send you?
  4. Finally, the hireling will give away his authority to the crowd. The hireling will say, let’s do what yall want to do. He will reveal who has charged or commanded him. The bible says that Jesus is leading us in and out. The hireling has no desire to go anywhere. He is going to do all that he can to keep things comfortable. To please his master the crowd.
  1. Quickly, what does the shepherd do? The hireling leads you to the people that hired him. The Shepherd leads you to the Savior. The hireling only has the power of the people. The Shepherd has the power of God. The hireling has not authority. The Shepherd has the authority of God.
    1. Dt. 31:6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you."
    2. Hebrews 13:5-6 God is my helper I will not fear.

It is always wise to listen to sheep and meet their needs, but Jesus always lead them to their greatest need and not their greatest desire.

Church what is your desire this morning?

The church on Corinth believed it didn’t need a pastor. They knew what to do and how to do it.

Satan tricked Eve and gave her the desires of her heart. Aaron listened to the people, because he had no relationship with God. He was the high priest and should have lead them to worship God. Instead he gave into the pressure.

  1. Leaders, we need shepherds, not hirelings. Can you tell me the source of your calling? Are you doing things because of Grace that God gave to you or because you were asked?
    1. Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
    2. 1 Peter 5:1-5 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Just as Christ led us from sin to salvation, from works to grace, from bondage to freedom. We need to lead others to Jesus for Salvation. Realize that the One who called is the one who is leading us. God is our source of power and authority.


To be a great shepherd, you must be a greater sheep. To be a great leader, you must become a better follower.

When asked to follow what are your first concerns:

Is it your comfort? Is it how others will respond? Is it with doubt or dread?

Or is it on what you stand to gain in Christ? How this will impact the world, the lost?

Lead to Jesus or step down

Verse of the Day
  September 2021  
Upcoming Events
Submit Prayer Request