Home Church Ministry Training
Home Church Leaders as Shepherds
The first scriptural reference to Shepherds, Elders or leaders is found in
"And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon Moses, and gave it unto the seventy elders:"
God gave Moses seventy men to assist him in caring for the children of Israel.
They functioned with an anointing under his shepherding and thus may also be called under-shepherds.
In the New Testament the Greek word for Shepherd is "Poimen"
It means - "to shepherd, care for, feed or lead sheep."
Shepherding is God’s care for His children by those He chooses.
God clearly reveals in His word what his idea of Shepherding is.
"As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep … I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick:”
The Church of Jesus Christ is made up of many members. (Sheep)
God has called Shepherds to care for His sheep.
Seven aspects of a Shepherd:
- The New Testament qualifications of a Shepherd.
They are described in:
1 Timothy 3:1-7
A Shepherd should be:
- Of good report
- Having one spouse or being single
- A vigilant person
- A sober person
- Of good behavior
- A teacher
- Not covetous
- Not greedy
- Not a lover of money
- One who rules their house well.
- A Shepherd should always enjoy being under authority.
As Shepherds we are to be in subjection to those placed by the Lord Jesus Christ over us. We should always be open to correction and discipline by them. Those in authority over us are our covering and our protection.
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation … Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
- Shepherds should always be in unity with the other Shepherds.
1 Corinthians 1:10
"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
Shepherds need to be as one before the Lord in perfect unity. They need at all times to share and be in unity with the vision, guidance and the goals of the leadership. Lots of independent visions cause division, and lots of heads create a monster. Shepherds need to be united in fellowship, prayer and fasting, meeting the needs of the saints they shepherd. They should not have self-elevation or personal gain in mind as Shepherds.
- Shepherds need to be effective leaders.
Shepherds take upon themselves the responsibility to care for a group of Christians and are responsible for their spiritual growth, protection and well-being. They lead by word, action and example. Each weekly Home Church meeting should be well organized and meet the spiritual needs of the members.
- Shepherds need to understand their sheep
There are nine aspects Shepherds need to consider about sheep:
- Sheep need to be led to food and water.
- In storms, sheep need shelter.
- Sheep need careful care and watching so as not to be lost.
- Sheep need quiet restful waters.
- Sheep need green pastures to lie down and rest.
- Sheep need anointing oil to sooth their head in the hot sun.
- Sheep need dipping to protect them from harmful insects.
- Sheep need the shepherd's protection from wild animals.
- Each sheep has unique qualities and characteristics.
- The five aspects of shepherding sheep:
- Shepherd love your sheep.
- Shepherd value your sheep.
- Shepherd do not lose your sheep.
- Shepherd protect your sheep.
- Shepherd feed your sheep.
- The real test of a Shepherd is threefold.
- Are you equipped for the task?
- Are you doing the actual work of a Shepherd faithfully?
- Will you receive a Shepherd’s Crown one day from Jesus Christ the Chief Shepherd?