As in physical heath care, so too in spiritual care, it is good to have checkups on a regular basis. Mentoring can greatly assist in maintaining a healthy life and ministry. Shepherding the Shepherds is designed to provide such care.
It has been said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Taking time to schedule a yearly checkup is not difficult. However, when you are feeling well, it is easy to overlook its importance. The same pattern is often experienced in the ministry.
Therefore, Shepherding the Shepherds seeks to be a timely reminder to pastors and their deacons / elders to evaluate their lives and ministry. Spiritually healthy leaders assure a spiritually healthy ministry.
In some cases, due to the rigors of their Calling, pastors experience unusual spiritual pressures from within and from without. These come in many forms: burnout, perfectionism, apathy, discouragement, depression, domineering control, indebtedness, a false sense of failure, pride, moral failures, bitterness, marital and family stress, criticism, unrealistic expectations, the list is seemingly endless.
While ministering to others, pastors often unwittingly neglect their own spiritual care. At the same time, the lay leaders God desires to use in building up and assisting the pastor, are either unaware of or avoiding their responsibility to esteem, encourage, and hold accountable their servant leader. The end results can be devastating to the pastor, his family, and the Family of God. It is not uncommon to find pastors who are discouraged and disillusioned. This is universal in all denominations and all sizes of congregations. Some have abandoned their Call in defeat. Others have fallen to various temptations. Many find themselves with little energy, no vision, and a mere maintaining of the outward image of their Calls.
The destructive effects go beyond the pastor’s life and Call. His spouse and family are negatively impacted, his staff and lay workers experience disunity and dysfunction, and the local church perishes for lack of a vision.
Because we believe that the local congregation is the right form of the Kingdom of God on earth, and because we also believe that pastors are instructed as it says in I Peter 5:2, “shepherd the flock of God among you.” and knowing that we are to fulfill this ministry as servant leaders and overseers, under the authority of God’s Word and the local congregation, we propose to establish a mentoring ministry for shepherd pastors and lay leaders.
Shepherding the Shepherds has been established in order to provide the following spiritual care: rekindling, nurturing, evaluation, healing, instruction, and vision casting for pastors and elders and deacons.