The metaphor of shepherd, sheep, and wolf is misunderstood for three reasons:
- The metaphor is exaggerated to walk on all fours and forced to mean the same thing every time the metaphor is used.
- The metaphor is superimposed upon an overlay that says anything “false” has to do with doctrine.
- The metaphor is force-fed into the current meaning of “shepherd” in churchism.
Jesus has a kingdom in mind with apostles and prophets operating at its foundations. He is a shepherd, but He never functions like contemporary shepherds. As a result, he finds very little about modern churchism that answers His design and definition of ekklesia.
So, hammering the metaphor into our deformity and dysfunction further deforms the point and ignores the dysfunction of the wolf.
- Wolves are leaders posing as sheep. They are not posing as leaders.
- Wolves use their messaging to recruit. They are getting close to whisper into the ears of sheep through illegitimate personal relationships.
- Wolves devour sheep. This metaphor does not mean they eat them, but that leaders with an internal hunger for people to follow them ingest sheep by perverting them from their assigned shepherds. A leader using teaching or prophecy to recruit people who Christ assigns to follow another leader, metaphorically entitled “shepherd,” gets close to sheep by posing as sheep.
This strategy means they do, say, or appear in a way that identifies with the level of maturity at which the sheep live. This level is the very reason Christ assigns sheep to shepherds, so look to that level for the point of attack.
When any ministry uses the idea that all sheep are open market targets to be recruited into their local church growth marketing, that ministry operates in wolfish fraud. Since this is pretty much the entire point of contemporary churchism, wolves are now celebrated as a protected species.
Wolves prosper because sheep think they are the ones who decide who leads them. This ridiculous idea (if we think kingdom instead of churchism) is ingrained that even mentioning it here will cause ten million alarm systems to malfunction and a billion people slap themselves in dismay.
Oops! I Hear a Moo!
See, I just poked a sacred cow–didn’t kill it yet–and the carcass, covered with blowflies, became golden calf worship right before our eyes. Moo! Moses just broke the Decalogue on the path down from the Glory.
Aaron just started writing his new church-growthism manual, “How to Win the World to Your Institution,” featuring the miracle story of a calf walking out of the fires when he threw the gold into the flames.
Yeah, I do mean to say that the vast majority of modern church-growthism ignores kingdom principles to enshrine wolf behavior in the fathering role. “Who’s your daddy?” just got an updated kingdom urban dictionary meaning.
If you can lure more believers into your show, you are a success. If you can forge new believers into the mix as bridges to other believers or unbelievers, so be it. If you can appeal to the idea that believers should decide who their leaders are with marketing saturation, further leveraging the lure you use to push your show, you will be celebrated as a great leader.
How do you do this? You whisper into the ears of sheep as if you are a sheep. “Get down on their level” and “speak to what people are listening to hear” are watchwords that scream so loudly that we lose the Gospel background music except for the thump of the ever-present bass.
How do you do this? First, you ignore the King’s assignments as if “if you can get them, they are yours” is the strategy of kingdom leadership.
Paul’s “I labored in giving birth” apostolic kingdom establishing is ignored.
The new wolf subcultural churchism leader says, “I whispered sweet nothings into your ear about your best life now and the goodness of God that means you never fight a battle and suffer the smothering unconditional love that accepts you just as you are.”
Yes, we celebrate wolves, despise shepherds that lay down their lives for the sheep, and protect the species from extinction. Yes, we think CEO figureheads, who do nothing to speak to sheep at all–no, they never whisper in the ears of sheep because they do nothing but hold meetings with the event planners, are heroes of churchism.
I couldn’t care less how much you pay for your sneakers, but it becomes rather evident that appearance and perception are more potent than reality when you pay thousands for a pair to impress people with how cool and successful you are. The point is that success markets sheep toward the show.
Hey, that is but one segment of the current wolf syndrome leadership mess. Do you think that is challenging? Cheer up! It gets worse.
Apply the idea to modern prophetic social media circus magicians in the sideshow segment where crystal ball whispers, “You have been overlooked and dishonored by leaders too long my selfish little spoiled and entitled brat, follow guru and prophet, makers of media hype and ministry career development.”
Wolves don’t growl until the sheep try to escape. Wolves of megachurches are too lazy to growl. They see the next load of recruited sheep unloading and settle back for a nap. Are they all wolves? God knows. I’m discussing wolf behaviors in modern churchism.