The Shepherd Leader, pt. 4 (plus some Lagniappe)

It’s Monday morning, and I return to the book The Shepherd Leader, by Timothy Witmer.  Our staff at 3BC continues to discover new ideas and remember old ones as we thumb through these pages together.  It’s a good, practical writing so far, and, if I haven’t already, I recommend it to those who are called to shepherd the people of God, be they pastors, deacons, or small group leaders.

Witmer continues with the section “What’s a Shepherd to Do?” by lining out some specific ideas of what shepherding is, based on the model of the Good Shepherd.  In chapter 6, Witmer continues that shepherds must feed the sheep.  Provision is a fundamental need met by the shepherd, and Witmer asks the question, “With what does the shepherd-elder feed the sheep?”

Witmer states that it is the “fundamental responsibility of any and every shepherd…to assure that the sheep are well nourished.”  This is done on two levels.

First, the shepherd-elder oversees the public ministry of God’s Word.  This includes preaching from the pulpit, and goes on to encompass small group ministry.  Witmer encourages expository preaching, working through books of the Bible, teaching the sheep what to look for in biblical texts and how to apply them to daily living.

Second, the shepherd-elder must be prepared and seek out small group or individual discipleship based on the Word of God.  This can include young believers, believers laboring under a particular sin, believers who are declining in their commitment, and, finally, believers who are strong in their walk with God, encouraging them to grow ever deeper in their knowledge and relationship with God.

To close, Witmer asks the shepherd-elder, “When have you experienced the most growth as a believer?”  The answer to that question encourages us to seek out opportunities to shepherd the flock through the Word.


1.  On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank.  National Geographic has created a chilling recreation of exactly what happened and how the ship went down.

2.  On April 20, 1912, Boston’s Fenway Park opened.  The Red Sox played their first game in that park against the New York Highlanders, now known as the Yankees.  I had the opportunity to watch the ceremony Friday on MLB TV, and I can say it was incredible.  Six days after it opened, the Red Sox gave fans the opportunity to donate to help survivors of the Titanic sinking.  Here’s a great recounting of the opening of the park.

3.    Philip Humber just recently pitched the 21st perfect game in MLB history.  Humber is also a Christian.  Is he the next Jeremy Lin or Tim Tebow?  We’ll see.  Here’s what he had to say about his moment:

“For so long, I was trying to make it about me,” Humber said. “I was going to make it happen because of how hard I was working. … But because of the road I took, I couldn’t deny the fact that it was God doing it, that God had a plan. … . Wherever we’re at, whatever we’re doing, that God will be glorified in what we’re doing. And he can be glorified in our low moments or in our best moments.”

4.    Many people have asked if we…Christians…can support Mitt Romney, a Mormon, for president?  Justin Taylor gives some insight.


Filed under Books I'm Reading

2 responses to “The Shepherd Leader, pt. 4 (plus some Lagniappe)

  1. Jan Hubbard

    I read a book, “So, What’s the Difference” (I don’t remember the author) to prepare for teaching a Jr. High Sunday School Class in 1973!!!! Yipes! What these articles concluded were the same as in this book: Mormonisim is a cult in the theological sence.
    It also concerns me that Mormans accept “The Book of Morman” as an extension of our Holy Bible.
    I am puzzled as to whether to support Romney. I do know something must change in the White House.

    • There is one thing that allows us to vote for Romney. Many of the values that Mormons hold to are the same ones that Christians hold to. That is something that can and will influence his policy.
      I don’t believe for a a minute that his being Mormon will affect us any more than Kennedy’s Catholicism. Though, it possibly can give the Mormons a “shot in the arm” regarding publicity and their efforts to proselyte the world at large.
      Given the choice, I would rather have his morality influencing public policy than some of our other options.

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