This is for my wife, Jeanine, and every other wife, and God also. Shepherd, lead, and teach, are secondary to my relationship with God and then family, and the love work that is attached to them!
But when it comes to the church: shepherd, lead, teach.
Shepherd is about love, expressing it with time and words, one on one by listening and by leading with grace and care in a large group.
We pastors can be notorious and bad by only calling attention to ourselves and by acting like big deals or selfish shepherds when we are up front.
This investment also means we lead the way for the church to have a system for shepherding all who will accept the care and discipleship of the church. And I believe every time I coach a church that such shepherding happens best through the Sunday and Home Adult Bible Fellowships.
Lead means I accept the call to know where we are going and to get others to come along – that’s the best definition of leadership.
This calls for vision, organization of the “ways” of the church, and going first in hard work and dedication. We must lead the staff, the one board which uses “the soccer field” model (that is a commercial), and the church in general.
I never looked in the mirror and thought, “Hot dog, we have us a leader!” But I did it. We must.
Teach is about sermons but also small groups of men I am discipling, and new members’ classes, and informal electives. It is also my example in the halls, teaching care for new people, kids, and all.
It means I will not skimp on study time or drop exposition in favor of fluff or opinions or current operative ideas!
And the nice thing is that all of us can do all three of these, and also keep improving in all three also.
And if you draw three circles, one for each of these, the overlap of all three, the tangent in the middle, is the pulpit. We all do all three of these then. So love and lead when you teach!
And our Lord, the best at all three, will be with you!
Knute Larson has been a pastor and leader for decades–wise, discerning, and an encourager. Knute has been the lead pastor for congregations such as The Chapel in Akron Ohio and the Grace Brethren Church in Ashland, Ohio. He also has served as executive director of CE National and is currently involved as a key leader with CE National’s ministry to pastors through Pastorpedia and Pastorpedia Live. He has always been a solid basketballer –but his greatest regret is that CE National did not name its latest building after him…
ON MISSION Insights