Why Shepherd’s Gate?
Stories of shepherds and sheep permeate the Scriptures. The Shepherd Psalm (Psalm 23) shares the heart of a shepherd. Allow yourself to be transported to the tranquil pastures of the young shepherd boy [or often times, a young girl] as the shepherd watches over the flock. Enter into brief sketch of a day in the life of a shepherd and his flock:
- By day, a good shepherd leads the flock to ample green pastures for grazing and still water to quench the thirst. The serenity and beauty of the pastoral landscape may appear alluring but the good shepherd continues to be ever-alert to possible dangers, predators of the flock and those who might harm or injure one of the sheep. Not only might predators be dangerous to the flock, but rocky, treacherous terrain and poisonous vegetation could quickly turn a healthy sheep into a wounded or ill one. Many unforeseen dangers abound throughout the day.
- As night falls the shepherd leads the flock to a sheepfold, an enclosed area, for additional safety throughout the night. The shepherd calls to the sheep; they readily come to the trusted voice of their shepherd. The sheep enter the sheepfold through the shepherd’s gate; the shepherd tenderly takes time to check the condition of each one of the flock. As the shepherd discovers scrapes or bruising brought about by sheeply antics, a wounded sheep welcomes the soothing balm of the shepherd; he anoints her head with a healing oil.
- One by one the flock settles into the sheepfold; they find rest from their daily pursuits. The good shepherd cares deeply for the flock; he nestles into the opening of the gate to assure that no wild animals enter during the night. The following morning, the sheep awake rested and renewed, ready for the activity of the new day.
- Entrusted with their care the good shepherd leads the lambs and the sheep; the shepherd attends to all their needs. As they face the challenge of each new day, the sheep and their lambs live and grow in the presence of the shepherd who loves them.
Shepherd’s Gate Renewal Ministries seeks to emulate the Good Shepherd by providing a setting for you to be nurtured, a place to grow as a follower of Christ, the Good Shepherd, a sanctuary to find rest and renewal when necessary.
The Good Shepherd Cares for the Flock
He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. Isaiah 40:11
God’s Tender Care
O Lord Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd of the sheep, who came to seek the lost and gather them to your fold, have compassion on those who have wandered from you; feed those who hunger, cause the weary to lie down in your pastures, heal those who are broken in heart, and strengthen those who are weak, that we, relying on your care and being comforted by your love, may abide in your guidance to our life’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
An Ancient Collect
(Praise and Worship Study Bible, Tyndale House Publishers: Wheaton, Illinois, 1997, page 521.)
Mission and Biblical Calling Statement
Loving and worshiping God ~
Seeking and following Jesus the Christ ~
Serving and teaching the Word empowered by the Spirit ~
Joining with others in love and growing in Christ-likeness
to further the cause of the Kingdom of God.
To serve the Truine God* through prayer, provision of biblically based teaching and resources for growing deeper in the Christian faith, assistance for individuals seeking Christ’s healing and reconciliation with others in the body of Christ.
*The Bible refers to God through the use of names reflecting God’s many attributes. Terminology for the Truine God is reflected through the use of the names Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as well as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. Additional terms for the persons of the Trinity may include [but not limited to] God as Yaweh, Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd, the Holy Spirit as the Comforter, Counselor, Advocate. All are biblical terms referring to persons of the Trinity.