- From shepherd to spiritual leader.
- From carpenter to spiritual house builder.
- From fishers of fish to fishers of men.
- From tent maker to tabernacle builder.
- From husband and parent to church leader.
- From your profession to ? in the kingdom of Elohim.
Exodus 3:1, Tending the flock. Moses spent forty years in the wilderness of Midian tending the flocks of Jethro, his father-in-law. After this phase of his life, YHVH called and commissioned Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and then to shepherd them through the wilderness en route to the Promised Land. This was the very same wilderness where Moses had shepherded Jethro’s sheep for forty years. Moses’ job as a physical shepherd prepared him for the next phase of his life—his ministry as a spiritual shepherd.
Often YHVH chooses individuals as his servants based on their vocational background, which provides training for the spiritual ministry to which he then calls them. For example, David was a shepherd before he became the king over Israel. Amos was a picker of fruit and a shepherd who called the nation of Israel back to become good spiritual fruit and to come back to Elohim, Israel’s true spiritual Shepherd. John the Baptist was a priest calling the Jews to repent of sin and to become a holy nation. Yeshua was a carpenter before he became a builder of the spiritual house of Israel (Heb 3:3–6; 1 Pet 2:5), and several of Yeshua’s disciples were commercial fishermen before becoming “fishers of men” or apostolic evangelists. Paul was a tent maker helping to raise up the fallen tabernacle of David. Sometimes our physical vocations may be an indicator of what our spiritual calling is.
Being a shepherd of physical sheep is a most suitable profession to prepare one for tending YHVH’s spiritual sheep. A shepherd has to put the needs, comfort, care and protection of the sheep above his own needs and wants. This is one reason why the Scriptures refer to those who care for and protect YHVH’s spiritual sheep as shepherds or pastors.
There are many similarities between physical and spiritual shepherds, and physical and spiritual sheep. Unless one has been a physical shepherd and cared for physical sheep or even children, it is unlikely these reasons will be readily apparent. This is why being a parent is a one of the qualifications for being an elder or deacon in the church (1 Tim 3:2, 4, 12; Tit 1:6).