Throughout the year, our pastor will choose a book for our staff to read through together. It’s a good exercise for all of us, and for me especially, because it forces me to read and discuss some topics I probably wouldn’t gravitate to. Sometimes we grumble about a book, but by the time we finish it, we’re definitely the better for reading it. Plus, we have some pretty good discussion as we go through the book together. It’s an “iron sharpens iron” kind of thing.
The book we started on today is The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church, by Timothy Witmer. We’ve only discussed the opening matter and Chapter 1, but so far, so good!
It’ll be good for me. I’m not the best at caring for people entrusted to me. We all have weaknesses and strengths… shepherding is not my strength.
Witmer states that the “…simple thesis of this book is, ‘The fundamental responsibility of church leaders is to shepherd God’s flock.” He goes on to show how, in the Old Testament, the shepherd theme is prevalent. He states, “The description of the Lord as shepherd of his flock is often found in a redemptive context”, and that “The Lord’s self-revelation as ‘shepherd’ of his people…is one that describes the comprehensive care that he provides for his people.” Witmer goes on to show that Moses and David were called to shepherd God’s people, but that even they were ultimately inadequate. He goes on to say that Jeremiah and Micah give us pictures of the ‘Shepherd to Come’…Jesus.
So, if I, as a Believer, am to model my life after Christ, to serve with all humility, the model of Jesus as Shepherd should do just fine. But, like Moses and David, I’m pretty inadequate.
I’ll keep reading, though.
1. “Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball” I heard Dickey speak a month or so ago at a kick-off luncheon for Lipscomb University baseball and was incredibly impressed. He’ was an English Literature major at the University of Tennesse…not your average jock. Click here to read excerpts from the book.
3. There’s a new book out about the Bible’s origin, reliability, and meaning.