**Thanks to Johnathan Bowers for these notes that he took during Pastor Mark’s message…
Pray for the shepherds. Pray for them more than you criticize, e-mail, gossip, or blog about them. Pray that they would have a discerning mind to know who is a sheep.
Pray that they would have a thick skin. Pray that they would have a humorous outlook. That they would laugh at themselves, that they would have a tender heart toward Jesus and the sheep. That they wouldn’t be hammered, that they would keep a tender heart, that they would have a humble disposition, that when criticisms are true, they would repent. That they would look at a criticism for a kernel of truth to be sanctified by.
Pray that shepherds would have encouraging families, that their wife would endure all the criticism, backbiting, people who would use her to get influence, that she would remain close to Jesus and be a place of refreshment for her husband, that she would know her job is to keep her husband from despair—not by always agreeing with him but agreeing that she will always be for him.
Pray for his children as people take shots at his family. That his children would not go astray because critics love that.
Pray that one of the elders in the church is a good sniper. That he could spot people who are trying to take down the pastor. If the pastor tries to do it, it’s a lose-lose situation. Some of you elders here need to get in the middle.
Pray that the shepherds would have evangelistic devotion, that they would not just feed the sheep, but that they would love the lost. That they would not waste their time checking their ratings and overlook Paul’s admonition to do the work of an evangelist. That they wouldn’t be so buried in firefights that they can’t see more people become sheep.
Pray for the shepherds, that they would learn selective hearing, that they would listen to their elders, that they would invite into their lives good counsel. Not everything that is said is worth a hearing. Shepherds can become so hard-hearted that their ears are closed and they spend time justifying themselves when they shouldn’t. They need to know who to listen to, who to heed, and who to not to.
Pray for the young shepherds, that older shepherds would not shoot them like wolves and wouldn’t criticize them like dogs, but would encourage them like dads.