These days we hear talk about how terrible it is to make a divide between God's people as in clergy and laity. I agree with that in large part. We're all members of the same Body who need each other, and we all have the same Spirit who gives to all for the benefit of all.
Just the same, in needing each other we must not discount the important place and role that pastors occupy. We need those in the church who have a shepherd's heart for the sheep. As shepherds under the Good and Great Shepherd, Jesus, we need those who hear God's call to feed and take care of the Lord's sheep, his people.
Yesterday at church my heart was hard and fearful. I couldn't get into worship, though I tried. I tried to listen well to the good message. Toward the end I realized we do have a pastor (and pastors, actually), and that I need to share my over-burdens with them. As soon as I realized that, the burden lifted and I was able to weep and be open to the Spirit. So I did seek one out later, and they gave me a good word of counsel and prayed for me.
I know the shepherd analogy has no direct connection with most of us in our experience; we understand it only from what we read and hear from others. But it's a powerful analogy that remains apt for us today, I believe, in helping us understand at least in part what is at the heart of being a good and true pastor.
What do you think, or what would you like to add here?