We’ve made five assumptions so far.
1. Wherever believers gather, some are accountable for the well-being and protection of the group. Specifically, of their souls.
2. The metaphor most often used to describe this accountability is shepherding — an activity rich in analogy and example.
3. Shepherding is a literal and intentional role, and the Bible offers specific examples of what’s involved.
4. Shepherding takes a lot out of you, so God also established a relational culture in which Christ’s followers participate in one another’s well-being. Both the shepherds and shepherded are cared for.
5. There’s an expected result from all this shepherding. An anticipated outcome. A target to shoot for. A goal.
Next we’ll describe the goal.