It was ironic that the Sunday before Christmas the pastor at the Church I attend talked about how the Shepard was a job no one wanted, it was cold, smelly, you were the protector of the sheep, and if you lost one you had to go find it. But they were rewarded by being the first to see the baby Jesus. I am a Shepherd for Continental Lifewise Academy. A Shepard for Lifewise has lots of responsibility that mimic the Shepherds in the bible. We meet 10 minutes before class is scheduled to pray and take the bus to the Elementary School. We arrive at the school 2 minutes (yes we have it down to a routine) before class break. The teacher hands over responsibility of the sheep (student) who are enrolled in Lifewise to the Shepherds. The Shepherds take attendance and then corral them to the van. Once in the van we verify that we have not lost any sheep and that they are all in boosters (if needed) and belted in. The sheep then serenade us on the 3 minute trip. Once we arrive at the class area we again corral the students into the room and take attendance. We help to make sure all the sheep are engaged and participate in the Bible Based Character Building program. It is great to learn about Moses, Daniel, Saul, while have learning life lessons like Humility, Trust, Being Bold, and Gratitude. We close the class with prayer and then head out to the van for attendance and making sure all are belted in correctly. After a couple of songs on the way back, we corral the students back into the school, take attendance again and wait for their class to join them. It is great that the teacher that the class I am involved with encourages the students and welcomes them back.
A Shephard in Lifewise first passes a screening and then goes through a series of child protection training. We take out jobs seriously, we have talked about what are plans are if we are challenged with a safety issues such as a weather warning. It is very rewarding to meet the sheep and learn while they learn. You will be amazed at how much they can pick up in just a half hour.
Lifewise Academy Continental has grown to over 170 students. They are in need of additional Shephards whose schedule are usually 2-3 hour increments either in the morning or afternoon each day.