Most of us “keep watch.” Parents, coaches, teachers, pastors and elders, friends — keeping watch means caring how others do and investing in their well-being.
This is the beauty of God’s systems. Family, community, society — they’re all designed to foster well-being. Against this backdrop the seriousness of neglect is revealed. To be neglected is to be turned away uncared for, with needs unmet.
Shepherding is the biblical metaphor for watch-keeping. Those who keep watch “shepherd” God’s people — a literal and intentional role. Watch-keepers are stewards who will one day give an account of their work (Hebrews 13:17).
Three of the best resources on shepherding (in order of time commitment) are:
• Ezekiel 34 (a biblical chapter loaded with clues about good and bad shepherding)
• The Biblical Eldership Discussion Guide (a concise summary of Alexander Strauch’s excellent book, Biblical Eldership; if you read all the left-side pages you’ll have an overview of the full-length book; download sample chapters here)
• A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 (this small book by Phillip Keller is a classic resource of what shepherding looks like; essential reading for all pastors, elders, deacons, mentors, etc.)
Tomorrow we’ll catch the essentials of shepherding revealed in Ezekiel 34.