Shepherding Competencies

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.

5. Knowledge/Guarding

  • 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.

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