I was asked to put together the competencies for shepherds of the Ministry Training Network. Below is what I came up with. My hope is that we will develop many shepherds who are growing in these areas. Chap
Role: The ministry of shepherding is to train individuals to care for the souls of God’s flock as it related to personal care. It is appropriate for but not limited to: current and future elders, current and future deacon, current and future small group leaders or teachers. Why is this needed? Because When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matt 9:36
Scope: This training will cover:
1. Essential character qualities of a shepherd
2. Essential qualities of personal growth.
3. Essential qualities of family life.
4. Essential qualities of communication and conflict.
5. Essential doctrines to defend.
6. Specific ministry skills: including small group leadership, crisis visits, public speaking,
1. Evaluates personality for calling as shepherd including:
- Desire to be a shepherd/overseer.
- Servant heart – willingness to do anything appropriate.
- Faithfulness, keeping of word and commitments.
- Knows the role and need of shepherd/elder.
- Team player, not independent, able to defer to others, submit to others.
- Willingness to overcome passivity, take the initiative.
- Willing to suffer and make appropriate sacrifices for the church.
2. Personal growth
- Stable personality; Appropriate self-awareness, self-criticism; Learning posture – constantly learning and growing.; love for Christ, love for people. Not prickly personality, Commitment to personal growth, holiness, Bible study and prayer.
- Knows progress people should make and is committed to help them move down that road. including salvation, baptism, membership, growth, service.
- Able to do “kitchen table” counseling for personal growth. Can point to particular verses of help for each of these areas.
3. Family Life
- Stable marriage, supportive spouse if married; Ability to manage callings/time – eg work, family, ministry and say “no” appropriately. Manages family well. Understands family life as a priority.
- Able to do “kitchen table” counseling for family life, Understand marriage principles, parenting principles – lives them and can communicate them.
4. Communication and Conflict (Resolving and Creating)
- Able to communicate well including listening and asking questions; Can receive criticism. Not argumentative. Has backbone to standup for right doctrine, right living.
- Knows principles of conflict resolution, how to defuse conflict, Practices receiving and giving criticism in a godly way. Understands church discipline – when to escalate when to let go.
- Knows and can explain the gospel. Knows good doctrine (and some bad). Can comprehend vital doctrines. Distinguishes between what is important and what is not.
6. Hospitable to others
- Knows how to greet and include others.including having in their home. Helps new people integrate to the body.
7. Specific Ministry Skills
- Able to speak publically eg prayer, the word.
- Knows how to lead a Bible study.
- Knows how to lead a small group.
- Knows how to visit in home, hospital, etc. with an appropriate agenda.
- Able to and willing to lead by recruiting and coaching others.