The first component of the sheepfold that we will examine is the shepherd which is the pastor.
In Jeremiah 3:15, the Bible says, "And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
As the head of the sheepfold, the pastor stands in a place of leadership and responsibility over the affairs of the sheepfold. A God-given pastor relates with people and their problems as God would, because nobody can know a person better than his Maker. At times, many people despise a pastor because the pastor is not a prophet. He does not operate like a prophet that sees visions or like the evangelist that commands the cripple to work. However, God gives pastors the heart that a real father has for his children.
As we talk of lawyers and doctors that are experts in their fields, the pastor is an expert in the life situations of people and the souls of men. Being a pastor has nothing to do with one’s age; but with divine equipment that God puts in the heart of the called.
A person that tries to lead a flock without the heart of a shepherd would be cheating his people. An authentic pastoral ministry is a ministry of pain and sorrow and tears. There is nothing like enjoyment! It is only God that can reward pastors for the work they do.
Paul, who carried the heart of a shepherd at a point in his ministry said, “Who is it among you that suffers that I am not burning inside?” When God brings people to church, He does not give them a chair in church but a place in the pastor's heart. Just as God is carrying everybody in His heart, He gives a portion of that heart to a shepherd.