Tumbling Stones and the Art of Pastoral Care

Shepherds of flocks will sometimes put small stones on the top of the stone enclosures for their sheep. The idea is that if a thief or threat to the flock (bear, hyena, lion, or wolf) climbs over the wall to harass the sheep, the tumbling stones will alert both sheep and shepherd that an intruder is seeking to do damage to the flock.

This morning, I was reading in “While Shepherds Watch Their Flock” and came across a great example of this pattern.

“Our dean of students begins her daily work by praying regulary through the school’s directory. She asks the Lord to show her who needs spiritual protection through prayer and who might need personal intervention. Over the years God has brought to her attention countless sheep who were at risk of being stolen. The ‘thieves’ might be abusive spouses, cultic religious leaders, or popular voices for immoral behavior. This dean is a spiritual gatekeeper with a keen ear for tumbling stones.”    (p. 142f)
Two simple thoughts:
  1. This dean of students is a better “shepherd” than many pastors in America.
  2. Every pastor and elder team in America can and should emulate her very practical pattern. Take the church membership and pray for it every week.

“I don’t have time to do such a thing every week!”


Yes you do.
You have only to make it a priority.
Can’t? Won’t?
Leave the ministry.

We need you to be shepherds.

4 thoughts on “Tumbling Stones and the Art of Pastoral Care

  1. Our church publishes a weekly prayer list split into several catagories, with the members of each category rotating weekly. These catagories include:

    1) all members and regular attendees of the church,
    2) special requests,
    3) prayer for another church in about a 15 mile radius,
    4) those in authority from our local police Department to POTUS
    5) One country experiencing persecution of Christians,
    6) one of the missionary efforts supported by the Church.

    The updated list is published weekly at our mid-week prayer meeting. A powerful prayer tool.


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