167. “The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep” (John 10:13).
When a leader leaves, there is an awkward uncertainty as to what is truly happening in a spiritual realm. Some point to new direction from God, and certainly there is sufficient Bible evidence to sustain such a claim. God frequently moves His servants around, bringing the gifts and abilities as they’re needed. But there is also enough proof of running, like this hireling, that we must consider that possibility as well. It seems odd that pastoral ministry’s connection to the idea of shepherd would yield the short average tenure that we see in today’s church. Shepherds who hang around a few years until a bigger, and perceived better flock calls hardly fits Jesus’ analogy. When pastors leave in the midst of difficulty, they force the sheep to fend for themselves against an entire hillside of potential wolves. So who’s running away and who’s being led by the Spirit of God? It’s hard for the sheep to tell.