Justin Cofield talks about taking care of the bride of Christ. If you have been put in a position to shepherd others, it is your responsibility to watch over them and care for them.
Here are some of the main points:
- “Caring for the bride is developing worship leaders who have the qualifications of an elder.”
- “Us being a good shepherd means thinking about who will watch our sheep when we’re not there.”
The second reason that you should develop leaders is to take care of the bride. Our job as worship pastors, our job as shepherds, is to take care of the bride, right? It’s to take care of our sheep. It’s to care for her well.
One of the things that I have on my calendar, my alert, it pops up every Monday morning, and it says “nourish and cherish.” Because if I don’t have a reminder to do something for my wife, to care for her well, I’ll forget. And that may be lame. I may be a horrible husband, but when that thing pops up on my calendar, whether it’s on my phone or my computer or whatever, it says “nourish and cherish,” I think, “Man, how am I gonna care for her this week?” She’s taking care of four kids by herself when I’m gone to work all day. How am I going to nourish and cherish her?
And we think about the same thing with the bride. We should always be thinking about how we can care for the bride well. We can’t just operate on the work of those who have gone before us. We can’t depend on the work that was done 10, 15, or 20 years ago of men in the ministry who have taken care of the bride and cared for her well. We’ve gotta start doing it for future generations as well.
I heard this quote the other day. This guy said, “Just like in our own physical bodies, what we do for our body can either make it healthy or make it sick.” That made a lot of sense to me. I mean, we all know we’re supposed to eat right. We’re supposed to exercise. You know you gotta take care of your body. You know, if you’re putting good things into your body, you’re exercising, you’re getting some good sunshine, you know, you’re body’s gonna treat you right. But if you put bad things into your body bad things are gonna happen, and the same is true for the bride of Christ.
If you are doing healthy things, if you are practicing healthy rhythms of taking care of the bride, it’s gonna make the body healthier. I think part of that is development.
How many of you guys have read the book “Doxology and Theology” by Matt Boswell? I looked and looked on my bookshelf this morning for my copy. I don’t know where it’s at. Man, there is a great section in there, and I can’t remember exactly what chapter. Grab the book. It’s an easy read. It’s super thin. There’s a chapter in there by Aaron Ivey. It’s an easy read, but it’s a great kind of framework for worship leader 101. This is what a worship leader should look like. There’s a great section in there that talks about how a worship leader should have the qualifications of an elder, or at least aspire to that. If you can’t find that book, you could also just go look at 1 Timothy chapter 3. Look at the qualifications of an elder.
I think that caring for the bride is developing worship leaders who have qualifications of an elder, to aspire to those, to work at those, to want those, to ask for those, to pray for those.
Here’s the final kind of truth in that: Us being a good shepherd means thinking about who will watch our sheep when we’re not there. I lead worship here at St. John’s about 33 to 35 Sundays a year, but when I’m not here usually Dietrich is leading or my resident over there Billy is leading. Like, it’s a concern of mine who’s leading my sheep when I’m not here. Number one, it’s someone who is a pastor, who knows the Word, who is in love with Jesus, who’s passionate about pointing my sheep towards Jesus. I want it to be someone who has been developed, someone who is sharp in their skill and in their craft. Like, it’s on me to care about who’s leading the bride when I’m not here, and as a worship leader or worship pastor, it’s on you to care about who’s leading your sheep when you’re not there.
If you’re out this Sunday, man, I hope you have a lot of confidence in the person who’s leading your sheep.