Stay close to Jesus. He leads his flock to safe pasture. If you follow him, you will undoubtedly belong to a flock of sheep. That’s just how it works. Don’t be afraid of belonging to a church community. The real threat is not about losing your autonomy but losing your very life to ravenous wolves. Jesus wants to protect you. He’s wants you to belong to his flock.
The safest place for a Christian to exist is in the midst of a church community. It’s always saddened me how quickly believers shift from church to church looking for a pastor who believes what they believe, people who look like they look, and an environment that is welcoming though not too intrusive. It has become increasingly common for Christians to leave the flock in pursuit of some idealized self. In essence, they attempt to shepherd their own soul while having the audacity to call it faith.
Sheep stink and they stand really close to each other. They don’t all look the same, but they all have similar inclinations. All sheep lack an ability to lead themselves anywhere safe. That’s why they need a shepherd, so they don’t go astray and get picked off by a wolf.
Without a flock, there can be no shepherd. Sure, a good shepherd will leave the ninety-nine to search for the missing one (Matthew 18:10-14), but the missing one originally belonged to a flock. They were not some solo or intentionally isolated sheep. They were lost. They strayed from the flock of God.
There is no thriving flock without a faithful shepherd. There is no content shepherd without a flock. The two must exist together.
Scripture refers to God’s people as sheep. If you are a follower of Christ, you are a sheep of His flock.
According to the Iowa Sheep Industry Association, “sheep are prey animals. It is flocking together in large groups that protect sheep from predators because predators will go after the outliers in the flock.”