Jim Van Yperen writes from the unique perspectives of a church leader, a pastor and a shepherd. His penetrating questions will challenge everything you previously thought about leadership. Jim asks “Of all the leadership models in Scripture prophet, priest, king or judge God exhorts spiritual leaders to be shepherds. Why? What is it about shepherding that prepares or equips a leader to lead? Is it coincidence that most biblical leaders were shepherds before they were spiritual leaders? Why does Jesus say to Peter, feed my sheep? Why does Paul commend the Ephesian elders to keep watch and to be shepherds? Why does God choose a shepherd to describe the role of a church leader?”
One might conclude that there is a reciprocal relationship between shepherding and leading. Shepherding forms character in the leader; it shapes a certain way of seeing, thinking about and practicing leadership. Also, shepherding creates a community that shapes people.
If these conclusions are true, then most books on leadership miss the critical point. Leadership cannot be measured by the performance of the leader, but by the fruit of those who follow. Success cannot be tallied by the attraction of a crowd, but by a persevering faith in the face of suffering or persecution. This begs the question to all leaders: What kind of followers are you forming?
Shepherding forces us to change our mind about how we understand leadership and about how we equip those who lead.
Are you intrigued? Then come join us on this adventure and discover how God wants to shape your thinking and your leadership in the church.