This devotional is talking to pastors. That a pastor can not take the congregation farther than he has gone. But this applies to Fathers and Mothers teaching their children, Bible and small group leaders, Christians trying to lead their unbelieving friends to Christ.
How far have you gone? Cultivate your soul..
Pastoral Ministry: Sheep Are Led
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.
Cattle are driven; sheep are led; and our Lord compares His people to sheep, not to cattle.
It is especially important that Christian ministers know the law of the leader--that he can lead others only as far as he himself has gone....
The minister must experience what he would teach or he will find himself in the impossible position of trying to drive sheep. For this reason he should seek to cultivate his own heart before he attempts to preach to the hearts of others....
If he tries to bring them into a heart knowledge of truth which he has not actually experienced he will surely fail. In his frustration he may attempt to drive them; and scarcely anything is so disheartening as the sight of a vexed and confused shepherd using the lash on his bewildered flock in a vain attempt to persuade them to go on beyond the point to which he himself has attained....
The law of the leader tells us who are preachers that it is better to cultivate our souls than our voices. It is better to polish our hearts than our pulpit manners, though if the first has been done well and successfully it may be profitable for us to do the second. We cannot take our people beyond where we ourselves have been, and it thus becomes vitally important that we be men of God in the last and highest sense of that term. The Price of Neglect, 151-153.
"Lord, today let me stop, step off the busy treadmill, and look to the condition of my soul. Help me to listen to You and be spiritually nurtured, to have my soul cultivated by You in silence and solitude. Amen."