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 tragedy of neglect is revealed. The intentional shortchanging of kin. To be neglected is to be turned away 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.

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