Psalm 23:6b And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
One of the characteristics of capitalism is the mobility of the work-force. The average American changes jobs every two and a half years. This is not because of lay-offs or terminations of employment. Thirty percent of workers plan to change jobs in the next three years. In today’s economy, millions of Americans have moved to other parts of the country to find work. We are a very mobile community of workers in good times and in bad.
Worker mobility and loyalty are not mutually exclusive. That is, loyalty directly affects this mobility of people. How then can we nurture a heart of loyalty in our ministry? This line of Psalm 23 reflects a person aware of the richness of life that he has experienced under the care of the shepherd. Instead of hopelessness or despair, David expresses his commitment to the good shepherd. It is a voluntary act on his part to remain with the shepherd and work to further His work.
Loyalty is nurtured by the shepherd leader. Loyalty goes beyond the paycheck and focuses on the mission. Even if your followers do not remain with the mission, you can still nurture them to be advocates of the mission after they are gone.
Loyal sheep remain because the shepherd can be trusted. Their work is fulfilling and the pay is supporting their needs. They trust the leader and the organization to provide materially and spiritually for them. They choose to never leave. Others may not be able to leave. These sheep need a leader that can keep them productive and a part of the flock. They may not be able to leave because of children or ailing parents. Others may lack the ability to obtain other employment because of educational or physical limitations. For them, the ministry and the shepherd are the best they can achieve.
The good shepherd knows his sheep. He strives to provide for each as they have need. He leads them together to a place of blessing and fulfillment.