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August 14, 2019

Leaders Are Called to be Shepherds

By New Churches Team

Leaders in the church, whether they’re elders or pastors, are called to be shepherds. Shepherds have the unique responsibility of leading, loving, protecting, and feeding their sheep. 

Shepherds Lead Their Sheep

Shepherds don’t dictate where their flocks go. Shepherds lead by example and guide their flock with great care and integrity. The shepherd sets the tone of their flock. Likewise, church leaders set the tone of the church. 

People watch their church leaders closely. They notice their lifestyle choices: what kind of house they live in, what kind of car they drive, how they treat their family, and so on. Church leaders must be above reproach in all they do because they are representing not only the church but also Christ. If you are the shepherd of a flock, be conscious of the example you set. 

Elders sometimes help lead the pastor. It doesn’t always need to be the pastor who generates ideas and gets things in motion. Elders should share their ideas and giftings in order to benefit the church. Pastors need to be open to the ideas that surround them too.

Shepherds Love Their Sheep

The shepherd doesn’t just lead the sheep — he loves the sheep. The more you get to know your congregation, the more people know they are loved. People respond better to leadership when they know they are cared for by the leader. 

The mood of the leader is the mood of the team. An elder’s attitude toward the pastor is reflected in the church body. Remind the pastor that he is loved. When correction of the pastor is necessary, do it out of love and genuine desire to see both the pastor and the church succeed. When pastors know they are being restored out of love, they will respond with love. 

Shepherds Protect Their Sheep

There are three things that church leaders must protect their congregations from: false teaching, divisive people, and immorality. False teaching will spread like wildfire if left unaddressed. A good shepherd must discern false teaching and be willing and ready to confront it. Divisive people disrupt a congregation. A good shepherd must be gracious in their communication to a divisive person, however, they must address the problem in a straightforward manner. Flagrant sin and immorality in the church must also be addressed. A good shepherd will confront sin lovingly and courageously.  

It is the elder’s responsibility to remove as much of the burden of dealing with these issues from the pastor’s shoulders as possible. The shepherds of the flock have a responsibility to approach those who show themselves to be divisive within the church and lovingly address the issue so that the church can continue to function as the body of Christ. 

Shepherds Feed Their Sheep

It is the leader’s job to make sure that the congregation is fed spiritually. This isn’t a job for a pastor to do alone in the pulpit. This job is for the elders as well, participating in small groups, classes, and community. 

To read the remainder of this article and to listen to the entire training segment with Bob Russell, click here for the full post.

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New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.


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