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.