[From Nov. 15, 2012]
"Prophesy against the shepherds of Israel... you who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep. You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them."
God will hold leaders accountable for their actions. Including (especially?!) we leaders in the Church. In Ezekiel 34, God speaks out against the spiritual leaders of Israel who have let the people down. They've been more concerned with their own wants & needs than the needs of their people. God sees. God knows. God will hold them accountable.
This should be quite awe-inspiring for us pastors. God has entrusted to us a group of people (or, in Wesleyan terms, an area of the world to serve). Are we seeking their welfare? Are we strengthening, healing, binding up wounds, and bringing back the lost? If not, shame on us. We are called to serve, not to be served.
Forgive me, Lord. Forgive.