When we look at the scriptures we see a lot about shepherds tending to the flock. Many Old Testament saints like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and David where all shepherds. Palms 23 say “the Lord is my Shepherd.” John 10 is about The Good Shepard. shepards and cowboys have the same job taking care of there flock. A shepherd has a rod and a staff the cowboy has a bullwhip and a rope.
Jesus uses the example of shepherds as a picture of pastors in the church. One thing that is the same whether you are a shepherd or cowboy when you lose one of your flock you leave the rest to go find that which is lost. Shepherds and cowboy spends time and money building relationships with their flock. That’s why in the parable about the Good Shepard “my sheep hear my voice and they follow me.” They also love them and give their lives for their flock.
There are many parallels between the church and ranching. We are lead by the voice of God just as cattle are lead by the voice of the rancher. The rancher calls his cattle and they know his voice and they come. If someone else calls them they may come but when they see him they will not follow because they are not his cattle and he is a stranger. The rancher bought the cattle for a price just as God sent his only begotten son Jesus to pay for our salvation. That was a high price and is why he will never leave us nor forsake us.