The Shepherd Leader is a book that strives to bring the importance of shepherding to the forefront of our thinking about what church leaders should do and, therefore, what they should be. Too many church leaders perceive of themselves as a "board of directors" when the Bible is clear that they are to know, feed, lead, and protect the flock entrusted to their care.
Church leaders are called to be shepherds, not a board of directors. Witmer unpacks four primary ministries of shepherds and seven elements needed for an effective personal shepherding ministry among the people.
Timothy Z. Witmer is Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He was made Pastor Emeritus at Crossroads Community Church, Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, after serving there for more than twenty-five years.
It is both an honor and a privilege to be able to write a few words to introduce and commend this very important book. The Shepherd Leader is just the kind of book that those who know Tim Witmer and his work have been hoping he would writean intelligent, biblical, balanced, pastoral, sensitive and realistic exposition of the nature of true leadership in the Christian church. And there is a double bonus: this book is as readable as it is interesting... This is an intelligent and informative book.
"Tim Witmer is the faithful shepherd of a growing, urban, multi-ethnic church. In this useful and important book, he explains a biblical, practical model for shepherding ministry in a local church. We plan to use The Shepherd Leader as a primary resource for all of our candidates, interns, elders, and pastors -- our shepherds and shepherds-in-training."
Drawing on years of formal study and experience, Tim Witmer ably guides us into rich pastures of writing on what it truly means to shepherd Gods people. For men called to love sheep, the results both compel and convict. For leaders who long to be faithful in the field, this book offers a wealth of theological and practical insight that will strengthen your hand to, Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock (Acts 20:28).
Tim Witmer's book could not have come at a better time. So many are "slipping into the darkness" and most of us don't know what to do about it. Now we do! In a Biblical, practical and wise way, Dr. Witmer reminds us, admonishes us and teaches us. Churches all over America will "rise up an call him blessed."
The Shepherd Leader examines issues the church desperately needs to consider. We so deeply desire to organize and lead our churches by biblical principles, but can be confused or distracted by secular work or education principles. Now the fine pastor and scholar Tim Witmer brings his long experience of shepherding and close examination of Scripture to bear on the practical questions of leading and training to lead in the local church.
"At first I read through Tims book because I was an elder and interested in pastoral care. I thought it would be a nice reminder of important biblical material maybe even inspirational. The book certainly reminded and inspired, but it did something even more. Tim wants to shepherd other elders! He lays out the biblical material in a way that is persuasive, he suggests structures that can work in any church context, he maps out the mission of a shepherd, and its as if he wont quit until we are out there shepherding the flock. One moment you are reading a book and the next you are moving toward the flock. So much for relaxing with a good book."
"For five years our church has worked hard to improve elder-shepherding. Weve worked on this as much as weve worked on anything. And yet, Ill be the first to acknowledge that we still have work to do and gaps to fill. I read Witmers book in one sitting. I found it that engaging and helpful. This is practical theology at its best: applying biblical principles to contemporary pastoral needs. His grid for knowing, feeding, leading, and protecting the sheep through macro public ministry and micro private ministry is simple and compelling. If you can read this book and not be motivated to develop a more effective shepherding ministry in your church, you might want to check if you are called to shepherd in the first place"
"I found The Shepherd Leader to be a biblically sound and an inspiring book whose principles I implemented immediately in a new coaching system I designed for church leaders. Biblical leadership is shepherding. We cant escape this truth unless we ignore Scripture. Tim Witmer provides an immensely practical matrix to care for the whole flock as under-shepherds of the Good Shepherd Jesus. I am indebted to this work as a framework for shepherd care among the pastors of Acts 29 Network."
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