This is the book I have been reading for about 6 months now off and on. It is really series of lectures delivered around 1912. Fantastic though.
It is a call to pastor's to function as shepherds to their people, truly caring for them. In chapter 3 he speaks of the shepherd's oppurtunity today. He compares it modern medicine, in the idea that doctors generally do not deal with patients in large groups. Each patient has his own bed, with his own chart, his own blood pressure rates on there. Every respiration is noted, every movement, patient history, allergies and the such are recorded.
Here's a snippet:
"It is not by the spectacular and scenic methods that the death rate of great cities is reduced, but by the loving care of the one baby, the faithful nursing of the one patient who without this care and nursing would have died."
The same is true of discipleship within the church. There is part of me that is drawn to large groups. And that seems to be the predominant model of church today. But looking at my own life, the most significant times of discipleship occured when I hung out with a friend, ate at his house, saw him live life with his wife and kids. I learned so much more from that than I did from a class or group.
There is something about one on one contact. Like Christ did, being involved in people's life. It takes a lot more work, it is a lot more dangerous, alot more chances for them to see your faults. But it is so worth, to see the life changed. To see people grow and mature in Christ, to know a person outside of Sunday and Wednesday. That is what Christ has called us to, to live like like He did. To let Him live through us as we go through life.