I really loved Pray As You Go today – worth a listen.
The part that challenged me particularly was this:
Jesus talks about the differences between the good shepherd and the hired hand – in the degree of commitment and responsibility, the depth of relationship, the time and care, and even love, that is given – differences that set Jesus apart from false prophets, but that might also prompt me to question myself. What does the image of the good shepherd and the hired hand say about my commitment, the depth of my relationships, the time and care and love that I give?
It reminded me of something that the Diocesan Youth Adviser said on a recent training course that here in Surrey we are used to paying for things. We don’t want to do our cleaning so we hire someone to do it for us. We don’t want to do youth work so we hire someone to do that too. But how does it make the youth feel? They can see right through it. He then went on to say that youth groups that have 5 or more members of the congregation helping out keep 80% of the youth into adulthood. Those that have just the youth leader or vicar and one other keep 10%. It is all about the quality of the love that is shown, and it is shown in commitment.