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Shepherds and Sheepdogs

 

Charles Carrin draws out a biblical analogy full of tested and practical wisdom.

 

Every shepherd needs a sheepdog. Knowing this, God sends them. Some shepherds cannot tell the difference between a sheepdog and a wolf and chase the dogs away. The loss to the shepherd and the flock is tragic. Other shepherds think they are sufficient by themselves and do not need assistants. This attitude is equally disastrous. Every shepherd needs a dog. Moses needed helpers and God sent them. One of his greatest was “Caleb”—whose name in Hebrew significantly means “sheepdog”.

Image: Andy Fitzsimon, Australia / Wikimedia Commons

In 1978 I returned to South Florida to begin a new work in an old congregation. I was freshly anointed with the Holy Spirit and alive with eagerness. For two years the church grew phenomenally. In a short time the congregation doubled, then doubled again, finances flourished, people were happy, and the Holy Spirit began moving in power. Word quickly spread that a church in Delray Beach, Florida, had come alive. Homes were rescued, addicts delivered, and lives changed. New believers were sometimes taken to the ocean after the service and baptized in the dark. A young couple, Wendel and Jan Hollingsworth joined our staff and ushered us into genuine worship and praise. In that state, we attracted sheepdogs and wolves.

Every shepherd needs a sheepdog. Every pastor needs a team.

Suddenly, the glory ended and all hell broke loose. In a short time the congregation found itself in the center of an ugly, public dispute. One of our supposed sheepdogs proved to be a wolf. The local newspaper carried his side of the story. To avoid that conflict we voluntarily gave up the church property, moved to the local High School—and fell apart. In a short time we went from a mountain of Glory to a pile of rubble. What had been a thriving, anointed congregation became a scattered, disorganized mob. Wolves carried off some of the lambs and sheepdogs disappeared. Worst of all, the community was robbed of its only Spirit-filled church. The pain for me was intense—unbearable. I felt abandoned, alone, wanted to quit preaching and hide. God said “No.” In that environment we struggled on.

During that depressing time I returned to my seat in the school cafeteria one Sunday morning, sat down next to a visitor—a gentleman I had never met—and immediately heard the Holy Spirit say, “The young man beside you is one I have sent to be your helper.” I turned and looked. He was in deep worship and I did not interrupt. After the service I introduced myself and learned his name was Herb Young. In time, Herb became my assistant and proved to be a treasure of wisdom and endless motivation. He quickly took the lead as minister of music, served in every capacity from church janitor to counselor, errand-boy to personal friend. If a task needed to be done Herb was there to do it.

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Category: Ministry, Spring 2010

About the Author: Charles Carrin, D.D., has served the body of Christ for over 65 years. Educated at University of Georgia and Columbia Theological Seminary, he denied, in belief and practice, the contemporary ministry of the Holy Spirit until a personal crisis opened his eyes to what he had been missing. He is the author of Spirit-Empowered Theology (Chosen, 2017), The Edge Of Glory: Receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit (Creation House, 2002), Sunrise of David Sunset of Saul: A Message to the Church in the End-time (1985, 2014), On Whose Authority?: The Removal of Unwanted Scriptures (Burkhart Books, 2014), a revival novel with Dorothy Easley: Island in the Sun (Xulon, 2010), and a contributor to Word Spirit Power: What Happens When You Seek All God Has to Offer (Chosen, 2012) with R.T. Kendall and Jack Taylor. Today his ministry centers upon the visible demonstration of the Spirit and imparting of His gifts. Read his biography at www.charlescarrinministries.com/about-charles.php.

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