Our staff continues to read and learn as we go through the book, The Shepherd Leader. So far, I’ve enjoyed reading Witmer’s book…for both his content and his writing style. He’s an easy read and, so far, he’s approached shepherding a congregation from three sides…biblical, historical, and practical. Sinclair Ferguson says the book is “a double bonus: this book is as readable as it is interesting.” I agree.
This week, after Witmer peers into the Old Testament principle of shepherding, he proceeds to unpack the The Good Shepherd and what that means for us as believers. At the base, we see Christ as the Good Shepherd in that he 1) provides for his sheep, 2) calls them to follow him, and 3) lays down his life for them. Witmer calls Jesus “the consummate shepherd,” because very rarely would shepherds give their life for the sheep. Risk it, yes, but, forfeit their life? No.
Witmer goes on to lay out Christ’s call to his dsiciples, what he calls the “Apostolic Imperative.” Witmer states that “His mission was to become their commission. Jesus had every intention of providing shepherding care for his sheep, even in his absence. The apostles were to be the foundation of the perpetual ministry Jesus intended for his flock.
And, the apostles did, in fact, continue the ministry of shepherding the congregation. But, because we are imperfect, the shepherding format began to unravel around the edges. From the church in Corinth (in the 1st century) to the work of Cyprian (c. 200-258), the role of ‘pastor’ and ‘elder’ as equals became skewed to where we see a single bishop who took ‘preeminent position.’ We are now on a slippery slope straight to the papacy and the Reformation.
In Louisiana, ‘lagniappe’ is defined as “a little something extra.” So, here’s a few extra things to think about.
1. Together for the Gospel is this week, April 10-12, in Louisville, KY. This is a gathering of pastors and others who rejoice in the gospel and want the gospel exalted. Speakers include Al Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, John piper, Matt Chandler, Mark Dever, and many others. I would guess 7,000-8,000 people will attend the conference. If you can’t attend, they’ll be offering live video/audio on the website, and I would imagine a ‘Band of Bloggers’ would be in attendance too!
2. Lipscomb Baseball takes 2 games this weekend and surprisingly climbs into 2nd place in the Atlantic Sun. Here’s a picture of one of my favorite players:
4. Florida State is the No. 1 in college baseball. The most amazing part about this poll is that Kentucky is ranked #3…2 weeks ago, they weren’t ranked in the top 25.
5. Want to go fly fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Little River Outfitters will take care of you. You can get up-to-date info regarding streams, where they’re biting, where the bears (and snakes are), and a ton of other stuff.