I’m currently reading Stuart Scott’s book “The Exemplary Husband: A Biblical Perspective” and have found it to be insightful, encouraging, challenging, and spiritually enriching. One such aspect of the book that is very helpful is the biblical definition and explanation of what leadership looks like in the context of marriage. And interestingly enough his comments about “shepherding” coincide with great specificity as to the role and responsibility of what it looks like to “shepherd” the flock of God (Acts 20:28); shepherding being one aspect of the functionality of pastors/elders. That being said, I wanted to simply list what Scott says a “Shepherd-Leader” does and make the simple application to that of pastors/elders in the church. Here they are:
- A shepherd knows where he is going. A shepherd must know his destination before he can lead his flock there. Christ certainly knew where He was going. He was intent on glorifying God, and He used perfect wisdom in all His decisions. Read John 6:38.
- A shepherd knows how to lead lovingly. The psalmist in Psalm 23 makes it abundantly clear that God (our Good Shepherd) is always bringing about good for His sheep and showing lovingkindness. Read Psalm 23 and John 10:1-16.
- A shepherd leads by example. The phrase “do as I say not as I do” will frustrate anyone who is tasked with following your leadership. No one wants to follow a hypocrite. Therefore, your life must be commensurate with your words. Read Matthew 6:5-15, Luke 8:1-9:6, John 13:3-15.
- A shepherd knows how to oversee. Oversee or rule (Acts 20:28) is not a harsh, driving, or controlling kind of leadership. Read 1 Peter 5:2-3.
- A shepherd is involved in the life of the sheep. Read John 10:14 – the context of this passage is the Good Shepherd (Christ) but it certainly has application to the undershepherds that God sets apart in a church (i.e. pastors/elders).
- A shepherd is diligent in his responsibility. Read 1 Peter 5:2.
- A shepherd protects. A shepherd is always on the lookout for danger and is ready to intervene. Read John 10:11-13.
- A shepherd provides. Just as Christ, the Good Shepherd provides for His Church, cares for her every need and makes the well-being of His Church His concern, so too, should pastors/elders strive to make this an aim of their shepherding ministry. Read Psalm 23:1.
- A shepherd instructs. A shepherd must be diligent in giving instruction concerning the things of God. Read Psalm 23:1-3.
- A shepherd corrects. Occasionally, a shepherd will have to lovingly correct a way-ward sheep. Read Psalm 23:1, 4.
- A shepherd restores his sheep. A shepherd will seek to help a wandering sheep. This wandering can be attributed to ignorance or rebellion. Read Psalm 23:1, 3 and Galatians 6:1-2.
Scott does a fine job in explicating the role and responsibility husbands have in leading their wives and it has been my intention to take his words and apply them to the undershepherds of God. In closing, the aim and objective of Scott’s words (as well as mine once again) have been to impress upon the reader that a husband and pastor/elder is called to be a Servant-Leader. Christ was the perfect leader and yet He was the perfect servant and as such husbands, pastors/elders should seek to do the same.
2 thoughts on “From the blog: What does it mean to shepherd/pastor the flock?”
Thanks for this – a very good word. I will have to had this to my “to read” list.
Great stuff Nate! Scott offers tremendous insight to how we are to lead like Christ, in the context of marriage, yet also applies to ministry.
If there is a word that I am seeking to live out is “intentional”. Leaders are deliberate/intentional in leading where they want the people/their family to go.