Zechariah 11.16 warns, I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are perishing, and he will not seek the lost or heal the broken. He will not sustain the healthy, but he will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hooves.
The opposite of the bad shepherd is the man of God who makes his chief work the serving of God for the building of His kingdom upon earth as it is in heaven.
Since Jesus the High Priest has come into the world, He has appointed all those who love Him to serve Him as a kingdom of priests in the world. The occupation of the Christian is the work of building God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven regardless of the Christian vocation.
Those in ‘ministry’ are to be the equippers, encouragers and examples for those not in vocational ministry. Their work is to help those not in ‘ministry’ to be occupied as much as possible with the doing of God’s work in the world. What is this work specifically? The things listed in this verse which were not getting done and for which God was punishing His priests.
The Christian occupied with the work of God cares for the perishing; he feeds the hungry, nurses the sick, clothes the naked all for the purpose of drawing them to Jesus. The Christian occupied in the work of God seeks and saves the lost just as the Savior, God Himself in Jesus, came to seek and save the lost. This is the most important and primary work of the Christian, the reconciliation of the world to God through Jesus the Savior.
Finally, the Christian occupied in the work of God teaches obedience to all that God has commanded us in Christ Jesus the Lord. While modeling that which God commands we spur one another on toward love and good deeds, working together in unity as a body, until all men have heard the message of reconciliation to God and are obedient to it.
Meeting the felt needs of men, sharing the gospel, discipling the saved, these are the works God requires of His priests of which all those who claim to be in Christ are to occupy themselves doing.