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The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church Paperback – February 8, 2010

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The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church + The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protecting, and Providing for Your Family + The Peacemaking Pastor: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Church Conflict
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing (February 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596381310
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596381315
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"We plan to use The Shepherd Leader as a primary resource for all of our candidates, interns, elders, and pastors -- our shepherds and shepherds-in-training." --Philip Ryken, Senior Minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, PA

"Tim Witmer's book could not have come at a better time. So many are 'slipping into the darkness' and most of us don't know what to do about it. Now we do! Churches all over America will 'rise up and call him blessed.' " --Steve Brown, Founder and Broadcaster, Key Life Ministries, Maitland, FL

"Examines issues the church desperately needs to consider. We so deeply desire to organize and lead our churches by biblical principles, but can be confused or distracted by secular work or educational ones instead." --Bryan Chapell, President, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO

About the Author

Tim Witmer is currently Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary where he is Coordinator of the Practical Theology Department, Director of Mentored Ministry and Master of Divinity Programs. He is also the Minister of Preaching at Crossroads Community Church (PCA) in Upper Darby, PA.

More About the Author

Timothy Z. Witmer (DMin, Reformed Theological Seminary) is professor of practical theology and coordinator of the practical theology department at Westminster Theological Seminary. He has served as senior minister of Crossroads Community Church since 1986 and is the author of The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church.

Customer Reviews

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I would encourage every pastor to read this book.
Stephen Altrogge
What Dr. Witmer does emphasize is service, ministry, active engagement, and a clear set of Biblical principles for this course.
Amazon Customer
Then, I read Dr. Witmer's book... The style in which this book is written is clear and to the point.
Brad Williams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brad Williams on September 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a pastor, sheperding is one of those things that I often intend to do well, but find that I can let it slip through the cracks. The tyranny of the urgent can often times drive sheperding to the bottom of the list. In my seminary days and beyond, I have read many books that spoke to the issue of shpeherding. Often times shepherding can be one of those things that is easy to plan, but hard to practice. Then, I read Dr. Witmer's book...

The style in which this book is written is clear and to the point. That is, a seminarian can read and be fed, but also those who are lay leaders can read the book and not feel overwhelmed. The book is essentially laid out in three distinct parts. The first part is the Biblical foundation for shpeherding. The second part is the philosophy for shepherding. The third part is how to practice sound shepherding.

Whether this style of Biblical leadership is foreign or you have done it all your life, this book speaks in such a way that is convincing to those who have never tried this model and convicting for those who have assumed that they have always done it correctly. Dr. Witmer gives helpful insights on how to implement a good shepherding plan that is consistent with a 21st century lifestyle.

I think this book should be required reading for all elders and pastors. Even if you don't agree with some of its conculsions, there is enough in the book to make you rethink how you are leading your church. I loved this book and have asked my fellow elders to read it with me. I greatly encourage anyone who seeks to lead in their church or ministry to read it. If you are like me, you won't be able to put it down.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
C. S. Lewis, in his introduction to a translation of Athanasius "On the Incarnation," made the fundamental assertion that reading the "old books" provides the best education. To do so opens one's vision past the interpreters and leads one into the ideas of the past that have been so easily forgotten. I think of this every time I look at a theological that finds its foundation, not simply in history, but in an exegesis of the Word, and then is built-upon with a sound history. The situation become even more enjoyable when the document is thorough in its approach to the subject at hand.

Back in my undergrad days at Grace in Omaha, Dr. Charles Nichols ("Chuck"), along with the staff at then Westbrook Evangelical Free Church, taught and put in place a leadership model based on multiple elders working in parity. Our education in this was good, but, as one would expect in the undergraduate world, not as thorough as one would receive at higher levels of academic rigor. That's just the nature of undergraduate studies - there just is not the same focus as in seminary and post-graduate work.

Recently our local church pastor picked up Timothy Witmer's The Shepherd Leader as a study for church leadership. This is the first, that I have come across, serious Biblical and historical treatment of the structural context of shepherding. Several chapters of this work deserve to exist as components in a larger systematic theology of ecclesiology.

What Dr. Witmer does not create is an elitist group of leaders that take from the local church whatever suits them, just as so many strong leaders have been (and may still be today) observed to do, raping the local church of resources in exchange for power, prestige, and status. Nor does Dr.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Nelson on August 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has some good, practical advice. However the author spends an inordinate amount of time attempting to exegete an argument against the traditional pastor/laity distinction, and lobby for an understanding of shared responsibility and leadership among equal elders. It's not that his point is not valid - I believe it is. It's simply that if this is not your ecclesiastical model, he's not likely going to convince you, your congregation, or your denominational polity to completely redo the way they organize ministry. And if it already *is* your model, well, he's preaching to the proverbial choir.

He provides some good practical advice on important issues from cleaning up the membership rosters to following up on members consistently. These should become core practices for any pastor. I don't personally agree with his theological emphasis on cleaning up the membership roster, but I'm willing to concede that though his exegesis is faulty, the basic idea remains important.

Ultimately, this is a very utilitarian approach to eldering. It offers some wonderful check-list types of resources and approaches, but doesn't spend a lot of time or emphasis on the less tangible qualities of elders or the role of elder. The result is that someone is likely to read this and say "I can do that!", which is good. The bad thing is that they may not realize the breadth of what they're getting themselves into, and the emotional commitment and connection that will be required of them. Experience will give them this, but the book could provide a little more on the topic as well.

This may not be the best resource on the use of elders or pastoring techniques, but it has some worthwhile things to contribute.
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