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.

Published by Paul Santhouse

I’m a husband and father, follower of Jesus Christ, and member of the Moody Publishers team. I've worked with gifted authors and their books for thirty-plus years, and I believe the local church is where we become the kind of people who reveal what Jesus is like. Since this is my personal blog, the views and opinions expressed herein are my own, not those of my employer. However — books, publishing, the work of the church, and learning to follow Jesus are central to my daily experience, so that's what this blog is about. Thanks for visiting! Paul

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