A subtle heresy has crept into the evangelical church. Like Easau, we have sold our biblical birthright as shepherds called by God for the pottage of skills and gimmicks designed by humans. We have misunderstood the role of pastor and defined it incorrectly. The result? Our churches are struggling. Christians are wandering away from the faith, and pastors are burning out at alarming rates.
This work calls today’s pastor-leaders back to their roles in a church era that has favored expansion over compassion, efficiency over ministry, and a business model over that of a caring shepherd who tends his sheep.
This work was born out of a passion for the church and a deep commitment to what I believe is God’s chosen model for successful pastors and churches. We don’t need to look to sociological or managerial experts to tell us how to make the church ‘work.’ We need only to follow what God has already told us in His Word. Shepherd the flock of God! This paper attempts to unpack what that means.
Problems don’t arise because pastors don’t know how to manage or lead, but because many no longer know what it means to be a pastor. When pastors stop working from the biblical pattern, confusion, frustration, and ineffectiveness inevitably result. Instead of chasing the latest program-of-the-month leadership philosophies, it’s time for pastors to reclaim their birthright as shepherds who model their lives and their ministries on Christ, the Good Shepherd.
This work offers a practical and biblically sound view of what a healthy church looks like and how pastors can become all God intended them to be. Shepherding is not an option, nor an entry-level position for career development. It is the defined role that will enable a person of God to develop a heart for God, to learn to experience the power and provision of God, and to properly love and care for the sheep.