Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Pastor to Pastor

Keep a Close Watch

Watchful shepherds know to keep a self-watch.

The LORD is their strength,
And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.
Save Your people,
And bless Your inheritance;
Shepherd them also,
And bear them up forever. Psalm 28.8, 9

Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4.16

The work of shepherds
Shepherding the Lord’s sheep begins with keeping a close watch on ourselves. We won’t be able to bear them up as the Lord intends if our life and doctrine are not what they ought to be. Calvin wrote, concerning 1 Timothy 4.16: “There are two things of which a good pastor should be careful; to be diligent in teaching, and to keep himself pure. It is not enough if he frame his life to all that is good and commendable, and guard against giving a bad example, if he do not likewise add to a holy life continual diligence in teaching; and, on the other hand, doctrine will be of little avail, if there be not a corresponding goodness and holiness of life.”

Life and teaching: Two of the three tools for shepherding God has entrusted to His shepherds. The third is prayer. By paying heed to our lives, teaching, and prayer, we will be better equipped to fulfill our calling as under-shepherds to the Good Shepherd (Jer. 23.1-4).

Two resources can help you look at your walk with the Lord. The Personal Discipleship Inventory allows you to assess the state of your Kingdom vision, disciplines, and walk. Watch this brief video, then download the Inventory and get started.

The Time of Your Life worksheet will give you an opportunity to see where your time goes each week. Write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I’ll send it to you right away.

Take some time this week to meditate on Proverbs 4.20-27. Solomon counsels us to have a close look at various aspects of our lives. It’s good advice, and doing so – with some regularity – will help us be better shepherds of the Lord’s flock.

Resources for Shepherds
Let me mention one more resource for doing a comprehensive self-watch. Our book, Fan into Flame, looks at all aspects of the work of pastoral ministry, offering brief summaries and definitions and providing a variety of assessment tools. It’s an excellent resource for doing a self-watch, but also for planning for growth in the Lord and His calling. You can order a free copy of Fan into Flame by clicking here.

If you missed our first InVerse Theology Project installment on “An Essay on Preaching”, featuring some powerful insights from William Cowper, you can listen by clicking here.

Have you discovered the monthly Personal Mission Field Workshop yet? Each month we offer training, exercises, and resources to help the people of God be more consistent and effective in working their Personal Mission Fields. Click here to listen to this month’s Workshop. And if you have not yet mapped out your own Personal Mission Field, watch this brief video, then download the worksheet.

The Resources for Shepherds page at offers new Insights for your ministry and reviews of Articles to give you food for thought. Be sure to check them out.

From the Celtic Revival
Here’s an anonymous poem from late in the period of the Celtic Revival that can aid in the self-watch:

It were my soul’s desire
To see the face of God;
It were my soul’s desire
To rest in His abode.

It were my soul’s desire
To study zealously;
This, too, my soul’s desire,
A clear rule set for me…

It were my soul’s desire
To imitate my King,
It were my soul’s desire
His ceaseless praise to bring…

Grant, Lord, my soul’s desire,
Deep waves of cleansing sighs;
Grant, Lord, my soul’s desire
From earthly cares to rise.

This still my soul’s desire –
Whatever life afford –
To gain my soul’s desire
And see Thy face, O Lord.

Read more from the leaders of the Celtic Revival (ca. 430-800 AD) in recent issues of Crosfigell by clicking here. Would you like to learn more about the Celtic Revival? Write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I’ll send you our free book, The Celtic Revival: A Brief Introduction, in PDF.

T. M. Moore

Know, Love, Serve
Our new book, Know, Love, Serve can help you assess the state of your reading and study and lay out a plan that will bring you closer to the Lord and help you grow in the work of shepherding. Order your free copy by clicking here.

It is our privilege to provide resources and opportunities to equip and encourage church leaders in building the Lord’s Church and advancing His Kingdom. Please pray that God will move many of those we serve through this ministry to share with us financially in its support. If the Lord moves you to give, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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