Lynn Anderson, They Smell Like Sheep (West Monroe, Louisiana: Howard Publishing Co., 1997), 248 pages, ISBN 9781582292977.
Shepherd and sheep. Pastor and congregation. Dr. Lynn Anderson has employed the age-old analogy of shepherds and sheep as a tool for teaching us pastors how to lead our congregations.
In the busy-ness of our duties as a pastor, it is easy to forget that Jesus is our shepherd too, and that He is the example we are to follow. He ministered to individuals and the masses where they were, a principle that should mark our ministries as well.
If we are going to shepherd the flock of God we cannot be a hireling; fleeing at the first sign of danger or tending another flock merely for higher wages. There are some other analogies that Anderson used to show leadership styles and attitudes leaders need to avoid. One cannot be a cowboy and drive the sheep. The sheriff model to “keep the peace and enforce the law and don’t take nuthin’ off nobody” does not work either.
As leaders, we can get caught in the fast lane and become entangled in the cyber world. We must never forget that the sheep need to be touched by their shepherd. We cannot afford to be competing with other leaders when God has called us to something different. Nor should we allow ourselves to consume our time on things irrelevant to that calling. It is too easy to get holed up in an Ivory Tower and not be available, especially to those who are hurting.
Dr. Anderson reflected on the mentors that he had in the beginning of his ministry. He learned what and what not to do. Such preparation and on-going training will keep us from many mistakes. He says that mentoring is another dimension of shepherding, but with a different emphasis. The pastor needs to feed and join alongside everyone else following the Great Shepherd, remembering that the pastor, of all people, must model Jesus.
He goes on to describe who and what elders are and what their ministry to the local body is. These men must be men of experience, character, and vision.
I wish this book would have been written when I first started in the ministry.
I believe a good summary of the book would be to seriously ask yourself the following question: How does a person feel after you have ministered to them?
Reviewed by C. J. Halquist