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Book Review: The Shepherd Leader, by Timothy Witmer

  • P & R Publishing
  • February 2010
  • 288 pp.

Timothy Witmer’s The Shepherd Leader is an approachable yet rigorous, theological yet practical guide to conceptualizing, structuring, and carrying out leadership in the church. Within the first few chapters, I found myself refreshed by Witmer’s apt treatment of the equality of leaders within the church. Though the Bible does make it clear that some church leaders will be paid, it does not raise such leaders as higher than the other, non-paid leaders in the church (Act 20:17-38, 1 Peter 5:1-4).

As someone considering a position of leadership within my church, I found Witmer’s book to be helpful in discerning what, biblically, does leadership in a church entail? The Shepherd Leader was a sobering yet exciting reminder of what it means to shepherd God’s flock in my local church: that I am to take care of the spiritual and temporal needs of the people under my care, that I am to know, lead, feed, and protect them.

Once Witmer lays the foundation, he provides a framework for conceptualizing the practicalities of shepherding. What does it look like to shepherd a flock of believers? At first glance, Witmer’s framework seems simple: an elder is simply to know, lead, feed, and protect his sheep. Yet Witmer drills down into each of these actions: examining them from the micro- and macro- levels; discussing them in the personal, family, and church domains; and connecting them all to Christ, the Good Shepherd.

Though this does feel overwhelming at first, I am thankful for Witmer’s accessible language, clarifying diagrams, and thorough treatment of the subject of shepherding within the local church. I pray that the strong, biblical foundations of this book will equip churches to return to God’s wisdom for leading and caring for local bodies of believers.

Buy it at Amazon. (This is an affiliate link, so I do receive a small percentage of any purchases made through the link.)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at TeachingtheCore.com. He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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