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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sheep, Goats & Wolves

SheepRan across this quote and found it interesting...

"Every church has three animals in the flock:  sheep, goats, and wolves.  The job of Biblical leadership is simple:

Love the sheep.
Convert the goats.
Kill the wolves."


Any thoughts?

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July 19, 2005 in Leadership Issues, Notable Quotables | Permalink

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Spend enough time and energy on hunting dogs and the sheep will wander cause that's what sheep do. Instead of killing the wolves, I prefer "guard the sheep". Let God take care of shooting the savage beasts. Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep and lambs, not to attack the wolves.

Posted by: Dean | Jul 19, 2005 7:14:09 PM

I have a dear friend that sees Christ as the "Good Shepherd" and the pastors as sheepdogs, running their little hearts out, trying to keep all those stupid sheep heading in the right direction. (I grew up knowing sheep and have no problem calling them "stupid" and I know that the shepherd depends on his sheepdogs.)

the sheep and goats and wolves remind me also of the wheat and the tares. Leave the tares for the Harvester to worry about.

Oh - I certainly think that we should let the sheep know who the wolves are (and what their teaching is) - but "kill" them? Probably not...


Posted by: Ellen | Jul 19, 2005 8:49:19 PM

I love wolves. Just not around sheep.

Posted by: David Wilson | Jul 19, 2005 8:52:11 PM

How about 'taming the wolves' rather than killing them.
Harder, for sure, but if the "lion shall lie down with the lamb" should we also look for the time when the wolve can lie down with the sheep?

Posted by: Gordon | Jul 19, 2005 9:14:27 PM

The key to me is to discern the difference between sheep, goats and wolves. Sheep and goats need to cared for, taught, led, fed. Hopefully the goats will someday become sheep, if not God will deal with them. (ala the tares)

The wolves, on the other hand, maim, kill, mislead, take advantabe of, and attack the sheep (and the goats for that matter.) While killing may be a little strong (Paul suggested letting them castrate themselves), shepherds are called to banish the wolves, not to tame them.

Having seen the damage wolves in sheep clothing can do to innocent sheep, protecting them from wolves is a job I take seriously.

Posted by: Geoff Surratt | Jul 19, 2005 9:34:30 PM

You will never (in this life) be able to tame the wolves, but hunt them? naw, you do not have to, they will come to you, and we are not called to kill the wolves, but rather the good shepard lays his life down for the sheep.

Posted by: bws | Jul 19, 2005 9:42:06 PM

What if the leader is the wolf disquised as a shepherd to care for the sheep? Now that's a scary thought...but is it possible that this could be a possible problem in some churches as well?

Also, Ellen, I identify whole-heartedly with being called a "stupid" sheep. I am glad the Good Shepherd never stops looking for me when I lose my way.

Posted by: Steve | Jul 20, 2005 3:21:40 AM

2 Timohty 3

is but one of many passages that discuss the wolves. The message is to turn away from them. We are to have nothing to do with them.

In fact, anyone who names the name of Christ but refuses to leave sin (not sinless perfeection, but says sin is not sin or I will not let go)we are to stay away from as well.

We are required to hang out with non-beleivers that are in sin, but forbidden to do the same with christians in sin.

Posted by: Franklin Reeves | Jul 20, 2005 8:53:35 AM


When you consider that everyone including the under-shepard is a sheep and part of the flock this is a true statement.

If you exclude the shepard from the possiblity of being wolves and goats it is wrong.

Posted by: Franklin Reeves | Jul 20, 2005 10:23:22 AM

Great points Franklin!

Also, I suggest having someone in the church who is trained to defend The Faith and trains elders in recognizing and identifying false beliefs and teachings in the church, for proper edification.

Q: What happens if the wolf or goat is the pastor or leaders? (this is becoming more of an issue than 30/40 years ago).

Posted by: BeHim | Jul 20, 2005 12:59:45 PM

I agree with the statement. This quote came from the book "Why Churches Die" By Ergun Caner and Mac Brunson. As a shephard are we not supposed to protect the flock at all cost. A shephard surely would have killed a wolf if it was attacking his flock of sheep.

Posted by: Dr. Shane Knight | Jul 20, 2005 5:28:26 PM

All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to our own way. More and more I am understanding how easy it is to paint people as wolves. I do not deny that there are people truly bent toward evil, but I have been through experiences where people just devoured one another and to my amazement, practically every one involved claimed to be a super-righteous sheep--all the while chewing others to pieces. So please bear with me a bit as I maintain that the true nature of a shepherd is to protect the sheep. A shepherd would certainly resort to protecting his flock in such a way that wolves might be slain, but I have grave reservations about any leader who is too ready to wind the sling and let 'er fly. The truth of the matter is that we have a solemn responsibility to watch over the flock with care and devotion, but if even the Chief Shepherd did not come to destroy, but to seek and to save, we can do no better than to follow his example. Again, all this talk of killing wolves leaves me more than a little apprehensive. I agree that there are sheep and there are wolves; I just sense that this talk of killing wolves has some measure of background in spite involved. Yes, wolves do hurt sheep, and that is exactly what a pack of them did to Jesus on a cross. How would he weigh in on this discussion?

Posted by: Dean | Jul 20, 2005 7:20:05 PM

Like I said it not about killing, its about not having fellowship with them.

now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner--not even to eat with such a person.

Posted by: Franklin Reeves | Jul 25, 2005 11:28:12 AM

Q: Are leaders in the church equipped to deal with wolves (false teachers and carnal christians)?

What is being used by church leaders to deal with these things in the Church? Maybe a list of these tools is in order.

Posted by: BeHim | Jul 25, 2005 12:38:59 PM

Actually, I have a question. I've been a Christian all my life and am a music minister for a church in Tennessee. My desire is that people will learn to experience God in worship like never before and come to the understanding that it isn't about the arrangement of the stage or where the greeting time is in the service, it's all about lifting up the name of Jesus. Anyway there is a handful of people (mostly older folks) who are nailing me to the wall over the fact that I've introduced some choruses. Actually, choruses have already been introduced by other potential music ministers, so it's nothing new, and the church has grown by a new member each week since my husband and I starting serving there. But these 5-10 people gossip about us and about EVERY little thing. They'll call their old friends on the phone that attend that church and try to turn them against us. They've even started withholding their tithe because they're not getting their way...ALL hymns is what they want. They won't worship during services and will even walk out, distracting others. Some will come to Sunday school (and are teachers, mind you) and then leave before service starts. One gentleman has lost his temper several times over this in business meetings, and he is chairman of the deacons!!! I am so broken hearted about this because I know that I am doing what the Lord wants. Both the pastor and staff see that this is the direction the church is going, and I was voted into the church, but he won't put a stop to their gossipping and phone calls. He keeps telling me that I need to have "grace" toward these people and I feel I have. We are compromising by doing a blended worship style and hymns are sacred and a special addition to any worship service, so I would never get rid of them. But, are these people considered carnal Christians? Or, do they just have to be idolators, drunkards, etc. Is "worshipping" hymns a form of idolatry? Does anyone have any comments about this?

Posted by: Lindsay Lawson | Aug 6, 2005 3:54:55 PM

Bravo good comment. As you remember David was a shepherd. And what did he do to the lion and the bear? What more shall our High Priest, The GREAT SHEPHERD do to the spiritual enemies that try and bother us?

Posted by: STeve | Mar 28, 2006 8:45:53 PM

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