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Shepherd! Lead! (2)

How shall we lead God's sheep?

He leads me beside the still waters…  Psalm 23.2

The work of shepherds
Shepherds are to lead God’s people to those places where they can find rest for their souls and can feed, grow, and share the benefits of one another’s companionship. Our calling is to lead them into the green pastures of discipleship, beside the still waters of a healthy, growing church, and into the heights of God’s Kingdom and glory.

But how do we lead them? What resources are available to us? The Scriptures mention three.

First is prayer (Acts 6.4). By praying for and with the people of God the shepherd calls down His shepherding care and guides them into His shepherding Presence.

Second, the Word of God (Acts 6.4). Everything we do in ministry must be based in the Word of God and aimed at realizing its objectives: making disciples, building the church, advancing the Kingdom. In all we do as shepherds we must seek to feed the Word of God to His sheep, for only thus will they grow to be like our Good Shepherd.

Finally, the shepherd relies on his personal example in leading the sheep (1 Pet. 5.1-4). It is thus a matter of the utmost importance that shepherds keep a close watch on their lives and teaching, lest they lead the flock astray from their proper path (1 Tim. 4.16).

Two images of leadership come to mind. Each is part of what shepherds must do. The first is of the confident shepherd, blazing the trail and walking the path ahead of his sheep, confident of their destination, careful of their steps, and calling each sheep by name as he leads. The second is of the earnest and serious sheep dog at the rear of the flock, chasing back and forth, barking warnings and encouragement, and tirelessly striving to keep the flock together, moving forward in their progress in the Lord.

So Jesus leads us, and so likewise we must lead the sheep entrusted to our care.

Resources for Shepherds
What do Gregory the Great and Jonathan Edwards have in common, apart from their exemplary faith in Jesus Christ? Both of them instructed us in the work of shepherding God’s flock. We have prepared a day-and-night reader with excerpts from Scripture and Gregory and Edwards to help us in learning the skills of shepherding. It’s an ideal tool for personal use or group study, and includes weekly questions for reflection. Write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I’ll send you a PDF you may use or reproduce as you like.

The work of shepherding aims to strengthen the souls of God’s people. We are called to spend and be spent for their souls, and in Part 1 of our series, “Strong Souls”, we explain why. Download the seven parts in this installment by clicking here. Then go to the website to read the first installment in Part 2 of this series, which is entitled, “Strengthening the Heart”.

From the Celtic Revival
“May our purpose be strong: to strive for what is fittest.
Let us all love Jesus, for this is the highest thing.”

  - Oengus mac Oengobann, Feilire Oengusso, Irish, 9th century

“Thus it is perilous to dwell among deceptions and deceits, and not to see the truths you ought to love, and in addition to see things that entice you by their flight, and as in a dream allure you to sin with them...”

  - Columbanus, Sermon III, Irish, 7th century

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. Or go to the bookstore and order your free copy of The Legacy of Patrick (click here).

T. M. Moore

Looking for Fellowship with other men?
Perhaps The Fellowship of Ailbe might be a place for you to share, pray, and learn with other men, and to encourage them in their own walk with and work for the Lord. If you’d like to learn more about Membership in The Fellowship of Ailbe, write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Been to the bookstore lately?
Because if not, you’re missing a great opportunity to stock up on some free resources, such as our workbook on Shepherding God’s Flock (click 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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