Pastoring Lessons From A 5-Year-Old & His Dog

We welcomed Rocky to the Stephens family a couple of days ago. Rocky is our new 2-year-old Golden Retriever. He was a gift from a family member who could no longer take care of it and give it the attention that it needed. This family member knew that we had three young boys. Combine that with a loving dog and you have a good combination.

This dog is like a dream come true for me. I have always liked big dogs. I have always wanted one that could stay in the house with us. This was never a possibility growing up because of my Mother's allergies and preference of "no dogs inside."

The past couple of days have been fun as we have welcomed Rocky to the family. It has been neat to watch our boys warm up to him. They have never been around dogs much. We have not had a dog since the boys have been born. Even so, they've been asking for one for a while. They got their wish.

Our oldest son - who might have been the most vocal in wanting of a dog - has started to realize that a lot goes into caring for a dog. There's the feeding, bathing, playing, etc that has to be done. I see his wheels turning thinking, "this is too much." I find myself getting frustrated with my son and his lack of interest in the new family member.

As I was praying this morning, I found myself praying for our oldest child to bond well and grow in interest of the dog. It was if God answered almost immediately and spoke to my heart saying,

You love dogs, don't you? You know how to play and care for them because you've been around them and had people show you how to do so. What makes you think he will just "get it"?

I replied, "Good point." But there was more.

It's a lot like pastoring. You are a leader that has been called to lead and equip the saints for ministry. They aren't going to just get it. Someone has to show them... teach them... lead them.

It was then I realized what God was trying to say time to me not just about ministry, but also about my boy and our dog. Would I continue to be frustrated, or would I take the time to share what I've been given and watch something awesome transpire?


Shelly said...

Great analogy! I love it when God uses our children or pets to teach us. It helps keep us humble.