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Pastor to Pastor

To Walk, To Lead

You can't do the one without the other.

Pastoral Vision (17)

“Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.” John 13.16

I once saw a plaque that featured a mother duck leading three of her ducklings as they walked along. The caption read, “Your talk talks, and your walk walks, but your walk talks more than your talk talks.” A college football coach put the same idea to us as we whined about getting more playing time: “What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying.”

Put yet another way, it’s going to be difficult to lead people into the path of a Kingdom vision if we’re not on that path and moving ahead ourselves.

Here’s how Isaac Watts (1647-1748) put it in An Exhortation to Ministers: “Call your own soul often to account; examine the temper, the frame, and the motions of your heart with all holy severity, so that the evidences of your faith in Jesus, and your repentance for sin, and your conversion to God, be many and fair, be strong and unquestionable; that you may walk on with courage and joyful hope toward heaven, and lead on the flock of Christ thither with holy assurance and joy.”

We shepherds must always remember that, as often as we give into temptation, falling through it into sin, we betrays the congregation of the Lord (Ps. 73.15). In the same way, when we demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit, the tokens of love, the virtues of holiness, the power of witness, and a commitment to growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, we lift the flock we serve to new visions and aspirations of what they themselves can become as followers of Jesus Christ.

Here again our vision of the life of faith and of the work God has called us to do, and our faithfulness in pursuing that vision individually and as shepherds, will determine the extent to which our walk leads others to a richer, fuller relationship with the Lord.

Resources for Shepherds
This fall The Fellowship of Ailbe will offer three opportunities for men to grow in their vision of the Kingdom of God. Beginning in September and meeting every other Thursday afternoon our Men’s Bible Study will scour the book of Ecclesiastes for wisdom in serving the Lord in our secular age. On Wednesday afternoons (every two weeks), we will take a closer look at the Celtic Revival by studying Thomas Cahill’s book, How the Irish Saved Civilization together with a closer look at three great Celtic Christian leaders. The every fourth Thursday evening we will hold our “Kingdom Conversations” on subjects relevant to life in the Kingdom of God. For more information on these opportunities, watch this page for dates and times, or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Encouragement is an important skill for leading people into a deeper vision and experience of the Kingdom of God. Everybody needs encouragement, and all believers are called to encourage one another. Our short course, “Encouragement”, can be used as a self-study or with a group of friends. To learn more about this free course and how you can participate in it, watch this brief video.

Our newest bookstore release, Patrick: A Devotional History, is now available for your e-reader as a free download in our bookstore.This 30-day devotional would be a stimulating and instructive exercise for church leaders in every area. Once you’ve downloaded your copy, share it with anyone you like.

From the Celtic Revival
One of the great saints of early 6th-century Ireland was Brigid. She was renowned for her teaching and service, but above all for the constancy and clarity of her vision of Christ. Her biographer wrote of her,

Victorious Brigid did not love the world:
she perched in it like a bird on a cliff.

  - Broccàn, Hymn to Brigid, Irish, late 7th century[1]

Effective ministry begins with a compelling vision. The more we set our minds on the things that are above, where Christ is, the less bound and hampered by the things of this world we will be.

Perhaps the most important legacy of the period of the Celtic Revival (ca. 430-800) is their focus on Jesus in all the phases of His ministry—life, death, resurrection, ascension, enthronement, and return. These ancient forerunners have much to teach us. We explore their legacy every Tuesday and Thursday in our Crosfigell teaching letter.

Subscribe to Crosfigell and Men at Prayer, and all our other teaching letters by clicking here

In addition to Crosfigell, we have prepared several free resources to give you a look into the period of the Celtic Revival and to challenge your faith and ministry with the example of our Christian forebears. Click the links below to check out the following:

The Celtic Revival: A Brief Introduction
Living to Rule: An Introduction to Celtic Christian Spirituality
Lives of Irish Saints: A Tribute
Columbanus: A Devotional History
Colum Cille: A Devotional History
Patrick: A Devotional History

T. M. Moore

Support for Pastor to Pastor comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

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

[1] Carey, p. 164.

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 the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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