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Pastor Doral Jackson

The River, Michigan

Betrayal is a painful part of life we can’t control, but we can control our response. When betrayal happens to the shepherd, Scripture tells us the sheep will scatter.

What do you do with scattered sheep? You round everyone up again. When you create realistic expectations, you cushion the shock of the congregation (Matthew 16:21).

All through the scriptures, it is the leaders that are attacked. Ezra and Nehemiah are prime examples of this. Jesus taught His followers that He was going to be struck (Mark 8:31). However, pastors should be like corks: “The deeper you push them in the water, the higher they pop back out!” The people should not feel like you will give up.

Instead, what should the pastor do?

The easy thing to do is to isolate yourself, because betrayal makes you want to hide. However, pastors need to take care of the people! Giving out to the people is the thing that will heal you. This is the cure for facing discouragement and criticism in the ministry. The more time you spend in the Word, the less you will stumble (Psalm 119:165).

Also, the people need to know that you trust them. Only Judas betrayed Jesus; He still trusted the other 11. You cannot lead people that you do not trust.

There are two primary roles of a leader. First is to be “pattern setters.” If the people do not see you, how can they see your pattern? And secondly, leaders should be the ligaments and sinew. Our job is to set the pattern and to hold everyone together. Christian leaders are to be tough and hard to destroy.

As a pastor, you have to let the past be the past (Philippians 3:13-14). The shepherd is supposed to lay down his life for the sheep (Ezekiel 34). You will get through the hurt by taking your attention off yourself and focusing on the people of God.

The Devil will always try to strike the shepherd in order to scatter the sheep. Betrayal hurts, but once we place our focus on the sheep, our healing will come and we will grow stronger!

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