God wants His children and, particularly, the shepherd leaders influencing His sheep, to grow spiritually ... and that growth often requires a rocky road and a narrow, steep path with unexpected twists and turns.

Green Shoots

Just as a plant needs sunlight, the proper temperature, moisture, air, and nutrients to thrive, we need the same as under-shepherds of our Savior. We need the Son, the Light of the World, along with the air He gives us to breath and the nutrients we find in the milk and the meat of His Word, to shepherd well.

The Lord’s Day

We have much to learn from the Puritans. Their “strength of character and life lay in prayer and meditation,” as Arthur Bennett, editor of The Valley of Vision, has noted. These men and women of God clearly regarded these practices of utmost importance, believing that living prayer is the characteristic of genuine spirituality.
A wooden pier leads out to a beautiful lake sitting in front of mountains under a gorgeous horizon

On a Dock in Costa Rica

I know that in this moment – on a dock in Costa Rica – Paul's prayer perfectly described what the experience did for me. This sheep felt the glorious, unlimited resources of the Father empower me with a remarkable inner strength and confidence for whatever is ahead. It deepened my roots in His strength, giving me the power needed to understand just a bit of how much He loves me, knows who I am – wherever I am – and that I will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes only from Him. The life and power needed to shepherd well the sheep He places in my path. 
A baby holds flags and clings to his mom as she closes her eyes.

A War-Time Under-Shepherd

This under-shepherd pastor is introducing one Ukrainian at a time to the Good Shepherd. As he hands out packages to those who come to the church, he shares the gospel. Earlier this week, in just a few hours, he handed out 300 packs of dried food and basic hygiene necessities. And then he offered these weary, worn, and frightened souls the Bread of Life.
A little girl runs while wearing a backpack.

A Missed Opportunity

I’m sure the lesson here was much more for me than her. The reminder that unforeseen opportunities are around every corner. We simply need to be ready. Our hearts in tune to the Father’s. So that we can in fact, as under-shepherds – at the drop of a hat or the loss of a backpack – make the most of every opportunity. 
A group of people sit at a table and hold their hands together in prayer.

An Evolution of Prayer

It didn’t happen overnight. It was an evolution that began with a risk. One unadulterated, transparent, and authentic request for prayer. And, to date, it has deepened our spiritual journeys, developed an indescribable trust in the Father and each other, and allowed a Board room of like-minded men and women to partner together and shepherd well the journey of Youth for Christ USA.   
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