Seven Essential Elements of an Effective Shepherding Ministry

From Andy Naselli.

That’s the title of chapter 9 in this book:

Timothy Z. Witmer. The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2010. 268 pp.

Excerpts (pp. 193–224):

Fail to include one of these elements and the plan will be deficient and likely to falter. . . .

  1. An effective shepherding ministry must be biblical. . . . [U]nless the shepherding ministry is founded on biblical convictions, it is unlikely to survive. . . .
  2. An effective shepherding ministry must be systematic. . . . [T]here must be a plan. If shepherding the flock is something elders are called to do, it is important to have a well-considered strategy to accomplish the task. . . .
  3. An effective shepherding ministry must be comprehensive. . . . [I]t must include all of the members of your church. . . . [M]ost churches that claim to shepherd their people through small groups fail the comprehensiveness test. . . . [G]ive a preliminary diagnosis of each sheep. [i.e., Identify sheep as either healthy, weak, stray, lost, or circumstantially inactive.] . . .
  4. An effective shepherding ministry must be relational. . . . [I]t is important for the sheep to know their shepherd and for the shepherd to know his sheep. . . .
  5. An effective shepherding ministry must include the four shepherding functions. . . . knowing, feeding, leading, and protecting . . . .
  6. An effective shepherding ministry must include accountability. . . . [E]lders [must] hold one another accountable to accomplish this work. . . .
  7. An effective shepherding ministry must include prayer. . . . [W]e are completely dependent on the Lord for his direction and blessing on the work.

For more info (including a sample PDF and a video of Tim Witmer discussing this book), see here.

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

2 thoughts on “Seven Essential Elements of an Effective Shepherding Ministry

  1. This makes it sound like a Christian human resources exercise!!!!

    Love, first for Christ and then for the people one is shepherding, and a real passion for people would come first in my list.

    • Yes, these are certainly implied in the list. They are also Biblically mandated and essential for pastoral ministry.

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