Developing Leaders in the Small Church - Lesson 8

A Shepherding Ministry

In this lesson, you will learn about the role of shepherding in the church and the importance of making spiritual decisions. As a shepherd, you must take care of both the congregation as a whole and the individuals within it. Spiritual decisions involve prayer and seeking guidance, discernment, blessings, and unity. Additionally, you must search the Scriptures for specific verses, parallel circumstances, principles, and warnings that relate to the decision at hand. Ultimately, your decisions should reflect the character of God and contribute to the spiritual health of the congregation.
Glenn Daman
Developing Leaders in the Small Church
Lesson 8
Watching Now
A Shepherding Ministry

PC108-08: A Shepherding Ministry

I. The Role of a Shepherd in the Church

A. Shepherding the Whole Congregation

B. Shepherding Individuals Within the Church

II. Making Spiritual Decisions

A. The Importance of Prayer

1. Praying for Guidance

2. Praying for Discernment

3. Praying for Blessings

4. Praying for People Affected

5. Praying for Church Unity

B. Involving Scripture

1. Specific Verses

2. Parallel Circumstances

3. Principles

4. Warnings

C. Reflecting the Character of God

  • In this lesson, you gain insights into the challenges of serving on a church board and learn about the concept of servant leadership in the Bible, as well as the differences between secular and biblical leadership, with a focus on the role of a shepherd in leadership positions.
  • Through this lesson, you'll gain an understanding of the church as the body of Christ and a spiritual community, focusing on love and interconnectedness, and explore the differences between secular organizations and spiritual bodies, ultimately shaping your approach to spiritual leadership.
  • This lesson teaches the importance of organization in the church, exploring elements found in the Book of Acts and the significance of leadership, emphasizing the church's mission based on the Great Commission and the goal to make disciples.
  • Through this lesson, you will understand the crucial importance of character in Christian leadership, as it demonstrates God's work in our lives, allows for influential leadership, and fosters spiritual growth in others. By learning from biblical examples, you will discover the necessity of relying on God's strength and guidance in your leadership journey.
  • In this lesson, you will gain insight into the importance of the church board's role, focusing on spiritual care and guiding the congregation towards a healthy church, which includes unity, obedience, growth in understanding God's word, active evangelism, and authentic worship, while being motivated by service and eagerness to lead, and understanding the accountability of leadership.
  • Discover the significance of prayer in leadership through the lives of biblical figures like Moses, Samson, and Samuel, and understand how prayer enables leaders to face challenges, find victory despite failures, and maintain spiritual strength.
  • In Lesson 7, you learn about the watchman's role in protecting the church from external and internal threats, the importance of church discipline, and its scriptural basis in Hebrews 12. The lesson emphasizes holiness as the primary goal and discusses the role of discipline in promoting spiritual growth and purity for individuals and the congregation.
  • This lesson teaches you the essential role of shepherding in the church and how to make spiritual decisions that benefit both the congregation as a whole and the individuals within it, emphasizing the importance of prayer, seeking guidance from Scripture, and reflecting the character of God.
  • Gain insight into the challenges small churches face in equipping people for ministry and learn the biblical basis for laypeople's involvement in ministry, understanding how to provide direction, identify spiritual gifts, offer training and mentoring, create opportunities, and give support.
  • Through this lesson, you learn about the church's purpose to glorify God, represent His character to the world, and transform people into the character of Christ, while also understanding the importance of good theology, connecting it to Christian living, and realizing a leader's role in overseeing church theology and fostering transformation.
  • This lesson emphasizes the importance of teamwork in ministry, explaining the New Testament concept of team ministry, the role of coworkers with Christ, and how partnering with others helps overcome individual weaknesses and fosters corporate wisdom.
  • As change agents in the church, the board must adapt to societal changes while preserving the core message of the Gospel. This lesson emphasizes the importance of addressing sinful behavior, examining the health of the church, and learning from the apostles as change agents.
  • In this lesson, you'll understand the crucial role of administration in small churches, focusing on spiritual growth and the effective use of resources for God's glory, as well as the importance of recognizing God's authority and Scripture as the foundation for all administrative decisions.

This course on developing leaders in the small church emphasizes the importance of leadership development and the challenges small churches face in doing so. It provides a biblical foundation for leadership development, focusing on examples from both the Old and New Testaments. The lesson then outlines principles for developing leaders in the small church, including fostering a culture of leadership development, identifying and recruiting potential leaders, equipping and empowering leaders, and providing ongoing support and accountability. The lesson concludes with strategies for leadership development in the small church, including one-on-one discipleship, small group leadership development, leadership training programs, and mentoring programs.

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Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] One of the things is we think about the role of the board is, is the fact that we're called to be shepherds. We see that repeatedly in terms of the references to the leadership of the church that we are called to shepherd God's flock. The challenge we face as board members is how do we do that? What does this look like? How do we effectively shepherd the church? It means that we need to do more than just oversee the building, oversee the finances, oversee the ministries of the church, but rather were called by God to be responsible for the spiritual health of the congregation. That's at the heart of a shepherd and a shepherd in ministry as we think about that. There's two aspects of that. There's our role as a shepherd in terms of the whole congregation, in terms of leading the church as a church body toward spiritual health. And then there's our role as a shepherd of the individuals within the church body. That part of our role is not only for the whole church, but it's also how do we shepherd the individuals within the church. And that's really what I want to talk about in this session is is how do we implement this within the church? What does this look like? As we think about, first of all, the the nature of the church body as a whole, shepherding the church as a whole begins with making spiritual decisions. Now, as a as a church board, we are given the responsibility of making many decisions that affect the direction of the church, the the ministry of the church. And so the question that we have to wrestle with is how do we make the right kind of decisions? Too often when it comes to the decision making process of a church, we base our decisions upon the finances.

[00:02:25] How does it how does it fit the budget? We base our decisions upon the facilities and what what will it do with the facilities. And so we we we approach it from a business perspective. And so we we base our decisions much like we would base our decisions in our business or running our our business that we may be operating. And so we bring that into the church. But that's not spiritual decisions. That's business decisions. God calls us to make spiritual decisions. And so how do we do that? That's what I want to talk first of all, about in this session. Then we're going to move from there to how do we then shepherd the individual, but beginning with accommodation as a whole. Making spiritual decisions begins with prayer. That's where it starts. That as leaders, we are called upon to pray for wisdom, pray for direction. It's interesting as we look at the life of Christ and we look at his ministry, we see that before every major decision, that or event that he spent time in prayer. We see that in Luke chapter six, where Christ is making the decision concerning who would be his disciples, who would be the 12 that he would choose to to be the early leaders of the church. And look at chapter six, verse 12, just before this event that he selected out this 12. It says, One of those days Jesus went up to the mountainside to pray and spent the night praying to God. And by doing so, he established really a pattern for us, a pattern of leadership, a pattern of of what it means to be a shepherd, that to be an effective shepherd of the congregation, to be effective leaders in the church.

[00:04:35] It begins by following Christ that in the model that he presented because Christ is the chief shepherd. Now, we've already talked about that, that he is the the ultimate shepherd. We are all basically under shepherds, under his authority. And so if we are to follow him, we need to follow his example. In the example he gave us was that of prayer. And if we fail to pray, if we fail to follow the the the will of God, we will lead the church in the wrong direction and potentially in a destructive direction. And ultimately we will disqualify ourselves from leaders as being leaders within the church. It's interesting. The prophets, as the prophets, were addressing the leaders of Israel and confronting them about their failure to be effective leaders and to be spiritual leaders. We see that one of the things that that the prophets, one of the indictments that the prophets brought against the leaders was their failure to pray. In Isaiah chapter 56 versus ten and 11, God condemns the leadership of Israel when he states, Israel's watchmen are blind. They all lack knowledge. They are mute dogs. They they cannot bark. They lie around and dream and love to sleep. There are dogs with mighty appetites. They never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding. They all turn to their own way, each seeking his own gain. So instead of seeking the will of God, they just seek their own desires. And as a result. It was a an indictment against them. Jeremiah Chapter ten, verse 21. We likewise see Jeremiah condemning the leadership of of Israel. It says, Jeremiah says the shepherds are senseless. They do not inquire of the Lord, so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered.

[00:06:49] So what was the reason why the nation of Israel was becoming apostate? It was because of the failure of the leadership to pray. Prayer is the means by which we seek and understand the will of God. And if we are to to provide the right direction for the church, then we need to pursue God's will. And how do we gain an understanding of God's will through prayer? So what do we need to pray for? Well, first of all, we need to pray for guidance as leaders in the church. If the goal of every decision is to do the will of God, then it it challenges us to seek God in prayer. Secondly, we need to pray for discernment regarding Scripture. The challenge that we face is we make decision. We're going to talk more about this in a minute, but the challenge that we face is to properly understand scripture and how it applies to the situation that we're in. And so we need to pray for for wisdom, to understand the scriptures and understand how they relate to the particular decision we're facing. Thirdly, we need to pray for God's blessing upon the decision that there, as we seek and we determine the will of God, that we need to ask God for wisdom and for guidance and direction as we seek to implement that that plan or that ministry or that will within the church. Then we need to pray for the people affected by the decision. Every decision we make has an effect upon people's lives. We need to recognize that as leaders. And so as we pray, we need to ask God for for the people. We need to pray for the people that are affected, that it will have an a positive effect, that it will lead them to transformation.

[00:08:43] And then lastly, we need to pray for the unity of the church because Satan is working overtime. If he can divide the church, he can destroy the witness and the effectiveness of the church. And so oftentimes he'll use the decisions that we make and the issues that we're having to deal with. He'll use that to try to cause a division within the church. So as leaders, we need to be praying for the unity of the body of Christ. Secondly, as we think about spiritual decisions, spiritual decisions involve scripture. It begins with prayer. And secondly, it involves the searching out of Scripture. And so we need to delve into Scripture and look at what Scripture says as it relates to the decision. And there are several ways that we can look at scripture. First of all, we need to look for are there any specific verses that address the issue that we're confronted? For example, because we talked about in our last session, how does Paul's handling of moral problems in Corinth help us in dealing with the problems that we may be facing within our own church regarding church discipline? And so we need to look what are the specific verses that relate to the issue that we're facing. Secondly, are there circumstances in Scripture that parallel the circumstances that we are facing, and how can that inform us? For example, we see the spiritual conditions of the church is there in the Book of Revelation. And so how does that help us evaluate the spiritual health and well-being of our church? And so we look at the circumstances. We see is there there are similarities and see how the scripture deals with that and how does that help give us guidance and direction in our own ministry.

[00:10:42] Thirdly, we look for Scripture for principles that are taught that will give us direction when dealing with finances. What are the principles that we see in proverbs and in terms in terms of the finances, in our attitude towards money, in our dealings with money, in our in our financial stewardship? And so how are those principles that the Proverbs share relate to us and give us guidance and direction for our present ministry? And then lastly, we need to look for warnings in Scripture that serve to give us a warning that we need to take note as we make our decisions. For example, James warns against the dangers of favoritism. And that's a that's a danger that we can have in a small church. But in the small church, there are predominant families. There are there are people that give more to the church. And we know those people. And there's people that that have more influence. And so it's easy for us to start showing favoritism and giving preferential treatment to them. And James warns against that in terms of when we make decisions. And so we need to look at it. Are there warnings in scripture? So, again, we're going back and we're wrestling with Scripture and asking ourselves that critical question of what does Scripture say as it relates to the decisions that we're making. Because again, too often we come to a decision. We we just make a decision based upon the business of the church rather than wrestling with scripture. And that's our mandate as leaders. Third, as we think about spiritual decisions, spiritual decisions must reflect the character of God. It's interested in numbers. Chapter 20. Moses was faced, and as a leader with a grumbling group of people, the people were complaining they were becoming thirsty because they lacked water and as a result they were threatening a wholesale mutiny against the leadership of Moses and Aaron.

[00:12:58] And so in response, Moses cried out to the Lord in prayer and asked God for direction, and in God told Moses to take his staff and to speak to the rock that was visible to the community. And then water would come forth. But we find in there, as he gathered the people together. Moses expressed his frustration towards the people, and as a result, he struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it. And in verse 12, we find this statement. It says, But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, because you did not trust in me enough to honor me in as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I gave you. And it seems strange to us that this the seemingly minor breach of protocol was taken so serious by God, but that this minor breach of of not following God's direction when God said to speak to the rock and instead Moses struck it with his staff. This minor offense was so serious in the sight of God that God told Moses that he will not enter into the promised land because of it. And yet we find that the reason he gives is because he says in verse 12, You did not trust me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites. But the key issue here and the really the warning to us as leaders within the church is that we become disqualified in leadership if we fail to recognize the importance of honoring God in everything that we do. That is leaders. Our role is to lead the church in a way that glorifies God and reveals his character. That's our goal. So we have to ask ourselves how of our actions? How do our does this decision reflect God's character? Does it bring him honor? Does it exalt him or does it exalt ourselves? Does it seek to build his kingdom or seek to build our little kingdom that we want to establish? So again, the goal is to honor, honor God in our decisions.

[00:15:28] And then fourthly, as we think about making spiritual decisions, spiritual decisions involves the counsel of others. In chapter 15, we find the early church wrestling with a very problematic issue, and that was the relationship between the Old Testament and its ceremonial laws and the Jewish customs as it relates to the establishment of the church. This was an issue that had all the earmarks of a full blown confrontation and conflict. You think about the issues they are facing. They're facing issues of custom. They are facing issues of theological importance. They were facing issues of ethnic tensions. There was a many issues that were come into play as they had to deal with this one issue. And so in relationship to this, when it when the conflict began to arise, it's interesting that Paul and Barnabas, rather than dealing with the issue themselves, instead sent a delegation to Jerusalem where all the apostles and the leaders of the early church were called together to discuss the question. And after examining of Scripture and much prayer, then the leadership in the this corporate leadership. Made a decision that unified the body of Christ. So we need to recognize that corporate wisdom of the whole enable them to act in a way that prevented division and a potentially conflict, destructive conflict within the church. And there's a number of reasons why outside counsel is always advisable within within the church. First of all, we can get counsel from people who have gone through similar circumstances. When we talk to other leaders from other churches or maybe a denominational leader. They've oftentimes faced the kind of situations that we're facing and they've learned from that. They've learned from their mistakes. They learned from what worked and what didn't work. And we can learn from their experience.

[00:17:56] And so it's beneficial to to seek them and ask their advice. Secondly, by going oftentimes outside even our local church for counsel and guidance is it helps us to avoid the the potential bias that we bring into the situation. Oftentimes, especially when we're dealing with a very difficult issue and we're in this situation, our perspective becomes clouded by our biases, by our preconceived ideas. And as a result of that, we can fail to see the different issues by getting advice from someone outside the church. It enables them to to help us gain a better perspective, a more holistic perspective of what the issue is. And so it's beneficial for that. And then thirdly, it's oftentimes beneficial because corporate wisdom always exceeds individual wisdom. The greater the amount of input, the greater will be our wisdom in making a decision. And so we want to to get others perspectives. So as part of making godly decisions, we want to get godly counsel. And perhaps the rule of thumb would be the more the greater the impact that decision will have upon the church, the more input and counsel we want to receive before we make that decision. So we make sure we're making godly decisions. We're making wise decisions that will have a positive effect. And then lastly, as we think about making wise decisions, wise decisions and spiritual decisions, keep in mind that the goal is the transformation of people. Our goal of the church is not to make people happy. We may help people who are going through difficulties, but our goal is not happiness. Our goal is holiness. The goal of the church is not merely to help people going through emotional or even physical difficulties in their life. Certainly that's a part of what we do and that's that's a part of our ministry.

[00:20:15] But that's not the focus. That's not the primary goal. The primary goal is to lead people in spiritual transformation so that the the church corporately and individuals within the church are growing to become more like Christ. Paul says that in First Corinthians, not excuse me, not First Corinthians, but Colossians Chapter one versus 28 and 29, that we want to present people perfect in Christ. And that's our goal. So the question that we have to wrestle with as we seek to shepherd the flock through this spiritual decision making process is the question we should always be asking is how will this affect people in their spiritual growth? If it will not help them grow spiritually, then it becomes a distraction. And so that becomes our focus. So as we think about being a shepherd of of of God's flock, and that's what God calls us to do, to be Shepherd shepherds, it begins by making sure we're leading the church spiritually. We're leading the church to spiritual transformation. We're leading the church by making spiritual decisions that have a positive effect upon the whole body of Christ. But now that brings us to the individual. Certainly as a corporate level, we need to influence them. But what about what is our responsibility to the individuals within our various congregations? What is the responsibility that we have? Because, again, as Paul challenges the church in Acts chapter 20 and the leaders there at Ephesus in Acts chapter 20 verse. 28 when he says be shepherds of God's flock or be shepherds of the Church of God. We need to be shepherds of of His, of his people. And God is both a shepherd of the church, but he's also a shepherd of every person. We see that in the Old Testament.

[00:22:26] We see, for example, that God is the shepherd of Israel and is referred to as the shepherd of the nation of Israel. And yet, in Psalms 23, David says, The Lord is my shepherd. We see that in in John chapter ten, when Christ talks about the fact that he is the good Shepherd and he says he knows his sheep by name, that there is an individual aspect of his shepherd in role that that Christ has. And so how do we do that? Well, I want to talk about in this session one of the practical ways that we do that, and that is through our involvement in the lives of people, if we are to effectively be shepherds of of people within the church, we have to be with the people. And that involves visitation. And I want to talk about that in this session because it's an important part, first of all, because visitation is central to our shepherding care. As one person said it this way is expert and effective care is impossible unless the shepherd knows his flock knows them not only as a body, but also as individuals. If we are to effectively care for the people within our church, we have to know who those people are. We have to know them. Secondly, visitation is crucial for building relationships within the church. It's important to realize that that we are called to be one body. We're called to be the body of Christ, and we're to lead our church, not only in terms of organizational structures in ministry, were to lead our church in terms of developing a in an organic body where there's mutual support. And that begins with us as leaders. It begins with us going out and being with people, being in their homes, getting to know them and allowing them to get to know us.

[00:24:37] And that's especially true when we have new people come into the church because oftentimes a new person comes into the church and as a result of of the especially the small church, we have a lot of relationships or close relationships. And we come to church on Sunday and we're spending time connecting with those people that we have such a close relationship with in the new church. Well, that new person comes in and they have no way to connect because everybody else is so busy talking with their their friends, they don't have any connection. And so they come for a couple of weeks and and we we see them there. We may say hi, but in a couple of weeks are gone and we wonder why. It's because we didn't take the time to connect with them. And how do we do that? We do that by going and being with them, going to their homes and connecting with them. Thirdly, visitation is crucial to get to know the people, to get to know their their their needs, to get to know their their struggles. So we want to know where people are. We we want to know who they are. So we want to go into their homes. Fourthly, visitation is crucial to build trust within the congregation and community. If we're to effectively lead people, we need to to build trust with them. And we do that by getting to know them, to to visit them where they see that we care about them, that we're concerned about them. And then lastly, visitation is crucial for evangelism. We can't expect the non-Christian to come to our church. We have to go out and be with them and be where they're at. It's interesting as we look in scripture and the question is, do we see this in scripture? Well, it's interesting.

[00:26:36] As we look at the model Christ presented, Christ spent time with people. We never see Christ developing a program. We never see Christ developing ministries. What we see in the life of Christ was Christ spending time with people. And it's interesting how many times it mentions that Christ went to people's homes. We know that he spent time in, for example, in Peter's home. We know that when he dealt with people, he became known as someone who ate and then spent time with sinners. Remember Zacchaeus? His first words of Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus, come on down. Why? Because I'm going to go visit you. She spent time with people. And we need to recognize that as leaders within the church, we are God's representative. We are to represent God. And one of the ways that we do that is by being a visible presence with people and in and that involves being with them. So who are we to visit? John Thiessen in his book, in terms of leadership in the small Church, describing the importance of visitation, gives a list of people that it's helpful for us to understand who it is, who we are to visit, first of all, to visit the sick. When people are going through times of sickness, we need to visit with them. Just stopping by and praying with them and encouraging them. Second, we need to visit those who are in crisis. People who are going through maybe a financial crisis or or perhaps there's a family crisis with regard to their children or maybe a marital problem. Or perhaps there are some emotional issues that they're facing. We need to go and visit them. We need to visit the lonely, the people who are the newcomers, the people who are isolated.

[00:28:36] The widows, the elderly. We need to visit the discouraged. When people become discouraged, we need to be there for them, to encourage them to strengthen them. We need to visit those who are bereaved, those who are going through a time of loss. That doesn't mean we have to answer all their questions about why these things happened. Oftentimes, the best thing we can do is just say, I don't know. I don't know why this person passed away. I don't know why you're going through this crisis. But I know God cares. And we demonstrate that by by being there for them, we need to visit the members of the church. This is not just the role of the pastor. We oftentimes say, well, that's the pastor's responsibility. No, it's all of our responsibility because we're all called to be leaders within the church. We're to visit the unchurched people. We're to visit inactive members. When someone stops coming to the church, it's important that we go out and we contact them and find out where they're at, what's going on in their life. Why are they not coming to church? And then we need to visit new people. When new people come into the church that we we take the time to to visit with them. And so how do we do that? How do we implement that? How do we visit with people? Oftentimes when we think of a church visitation or visiting with people, we think of a formal, you know, I'm going to be there at seven, you know, spent an hour there, and then I'm going to go visit someone else at 8:00. There's a lot of different ways. First of all, there's there's there's just visiting through everyday life in this. Perhaps the best kind of visit, the kind of visitation that comes when we see someone in the grocery store and we walk over, just spend a few moments talking with them and seeing how life's going with them, just seeing how how things are.

[00:30:37] And if we know some of the issues, just asking them how is the situation doing? Then there's a personal visit where we go to the person's home and we we go to the person maybe at his work and we spend time with them. There's also a group visitation. Comes at a basketball game or a community. Events such as a PTA meeting or or even at the fair where we're we're taking the time to be there because we know that people will be there. And so we spend time not just going the watch to the local high school sports team or whatever it might be. But we take the time to also make sure we're contacting and touching bases with people. And then lastly, there is indirect visitation where we we make a phone call. Where we just write him a personal note who are going through times of difficulty and just say, Hey, we're praying for you. That's our role. This this doesn't take time. It's not something we have to do. Spend 20 hours a day doing this can be a five minute phone call or just take in 5 minutes. And when we see someone at a local event or something just to touch bases with them and see how life's going. So that's what we're called to do as leaders. That's that's a shepherd, a ministry that were called to do that. So as we think about in terms of visiting, oftentimes we're we're fearful of that because we don't know what to do. We don't know what to say. We don't know how to conduct ourselves. Let me suggest you do several things to help us alleviate some of that fear so that we can we can be effective. First of all, when we do home visits, when you go to someone's home, first of all, just kind of follow their the customs, you know, the customs of the area, you know, the people.

[00:32:27] Some people like to take their shoes off at the door. Some people don't just follow whatever the custom is. Follow the family. Just share personal information. Just it. Just sit down and over a cup of coffee. Just start chatting about your life and asking them about their life and showing them interest and just that type of chit chat that oftentimes becomes a basis then for someone sharing what's going on in their life. And then when there's an opportunity, just pray with them. And encourage them. Secondly, a hospital visit and again, oftentimes we think a hospital visit is only for the past year. But but the reality is, is for all of us. And again, when we go to the hospital, we just need to observe some hospital etiquette. Oftentimes, a 15 minute visit is is more than enough. If we've been there 15 hours, probably long enough, if the person is sick, that's why they're in the hospital and they need rest. So we just need to touch bases, pray with them, spend a few moments with them, and then let them get the rest they need. But but spend the time to pray for them, pray with them, make sure the families, their needs are being met. Oftentimes when someone's in the hospital, there's there's issues going on and their needs in their family that they can't deal with because they're dealing with this person that sick. So make sure that you're there for them. Make sure that you're helping them with the husband's in the hospital, make sure the wife is having someone help take care of their yard and do those kind of things. So assist the family in a crisis visit, be there for it when people are going through a crisis.

[00:34:22] The most important thing when someone's going through a crisis, the most important thing is not what we say. It's just being there. So when we go, go immediately when there's a when you know of a neighbor or a or someone in the church that has suffered a death or some traumatic experience, go there and go there immediately and just spend time with them. If they're alone, wait until someone else arrives, maybe even call the pastor and let him know so that he can come and help pray with them and then provide service for the family by providing physical for their physical needs. And again, contact the pastor if it's needed. Oftentimes, the pastor, we assume the pastor knows and oftentimes he doesn't. So make sure the pastor knows. And then follow up, go a few days later and see how they're doing. This is not complicated. It's not something we need to fear. But by doing this, we provide an effective shepherding ministry in the lives of individuals because that's what we're called to do. Our chief role as leaders is not running the business of the church. It's caring for the needs of people. And we do that by making sure we make good decisions within the church that are spiritual, that are governed by scripture. And then we do that by caring for the specific people within the church. That's the challenge we have as a board.