In The Care Of Souls, Harold Senkbeil observes that God is the comforter of his people, and the means by which he brings that comfort are the simple and straightforward work of the pastor.
The image he uses is not one of pastor as shepherd, or under-shepherd, or stand-in shepherd, but as sheep-dog.
And you as pastor are his authorised agent to bring his presence and his healing by means of the word and sacraments you bring his sheep in every circumstance of life, not just in those moments when life itself hangs in the balance, but also in those mundane, routine, ordinary ups and downs of life. You’re not a counsellor or therapist, of course, but you are Christ’s sheepdog to do his bidding. You’re an errand boy for Jesus, sent to disseminate hope and peace in the most mundane circumstances of life. A fearful, anxious teen, a worried mother or harried father will find stability in your ministry. Not in you, but in God himself, who has chosen to do his consoling work through the word he’s given you to speak. The wondrous reality is that God himself is present by means of the is word to settle anxious hearts and quiet fear. “Thus says the Lord.” Now that’s a mouthful of certainty in an uncertain world!
The Care Of Souls, Harold Senkbeil, Lexham Press, 2019, pg 54.