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Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes Paperback – November 30, 2011
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“Voddie Baucham has captured the keys to equipping men to be a leader in their homes! This book provides a practical, biblical view to reform a man’s life to reach new heights in leading his home with the future of the kingdom in mind! I highly recommend this book to any man daring enough to step up, press in, and become the shepherd and leader of his home and to help end ‘spiritual fatherlessness’ in this passivity-saturated nation.”
—Joe White, President, Kanakuk Kamps; author, FaithTraining
“Scripture gives us a clear directive to ‘look well to the ways of our household.’ Unfortunately, for far too many Christian households, that mandate and responsibility gets relegated to anyone or anything but the precious institution known as the family itself. In this powerfully important and timely book, Dr. Baucham challenges the church to reinstate the biblical concept of father-headship of households and to establish and implement the principles of family discipleship. As a wife and mother, I celebrate the clarion call this book offers to those who want to see real revival in the nation by understanding it begins at home.”
—Janet Parshall, Host and Executive Producer, In the Market with Janet Parshall
“In seeking to develop gospel-driven family ministry, there’s an
unavoidable question that too few resources have clearly answered:
How do we develop a church culture that equips and mobilizes men? In
Family Shepherds, Voddie Baucham goes beyond surface-level
solutions that identify biblical masculinity with everything from
watching mixed-martial arts to participating in emotionally-charged
stadium events. What Voddie provides instead is a simple and
straightforward biblical vision for equipping men to embrace their
God-ordained roles as servant-leaders. This vision flows from Voddie’s commitment to articulate biblically what it
means for men to shepherd their families well.”
—Timothy Paul Jones, author, Misquoting Truth: A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus
“Rarely does a church see the husband and father as the key to shepherding his own family. Instead we have developed ministry expertise in the local church that seemingly no longer needs a man to step up and serve as the spiritual leader of his home. There are few mistakes more tragic than this one, and generations have suffered and will suffer if we do not call men to step up and serve as the spiritual leader. Family Shepherds is the primary tool that pastors and church leaders need to bridge that gap and to execute the building of the local church as God intended and has communicated in his Word.”
—Brian Doyle, Founder and President, Iron Sharpens Iron
About the Author
Voddie Baucham Jr. (DMin, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is dean of the seminary at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia. The author of a number of books, including Family Driven Faith, The Ever-Loving Truth, and Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors, Baucham is also a pastor, church planter, and conference speaker.
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Top Customer Reviews
The most recent offering was Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes (2011). Although he often speaks to dads, this one is directly addressed to fathers as he calls them to shepherd their families well.
He includes several major sections in the book including: the need to equip family shepherds, family discipleship and evangelism, marriage enrichment, the training and discipleship of children, and lifestyle evaluation. In the first section, he writes about the 3-legged stool of discipleship revealed in Titus, which includes the need for 1) godly, mature men and women in the church; 2) godly, manly pastors and elders; and 3) biblically functioning homes. He writes, "if we are going to see a generation of young men rise to the occasion and begin to disciple their families, it will be due in large part to the reestablishment of the biblical paradigm of mature believers pouring their lives into younger Christians, and demonstrating godliness and maturity to them by their daily lives" (p. 30). We cannot underestimate the importance of strong biblical mentoring in the context of a local church.
In the second section, he talks about putting the good news of the gospel in front of our children and helping them to get it right. Baucham tells his reader what the gospel is and what the gospel requires. He also calls for restoring the tradition of catechizing our children, which is an objective way of teaching our children biblical truths. There are many wonderful catechisms available for families who want to pursue this way of training. This process of catechism would seem to be linked with his call for family worship, daily times when the father instructs his wife and children in the truths of scripture.
In the third section, Baucham rightly talks about the importance of marriage and honoring the marriage bed as a way to shepherd children. Children need to see their parents functioning well in the marital relationship. As a part of this section, he makes an unapologetic argument for the biblical mandate for male headship in the home which has been under attack not only from secular culture, but also from certain sectors within the church. Baucham rightly asks not what does society say, but what does the Bible say.
In the fourth section, he talks about the training and discipline of children. He makes a distinction between formative and corrective discipline, a distinction that is good to consider. He argues that 90% of our discipline of our children should be formative which involves instructing, training, and rebuking our children, whereas corrective discipline deals with disobedience.
One area in particular that I appreciated about section four was that Baucham spends some time writing a critique of Michael Pearl's To Train Up a Child, which is popular among certain homeschooling groups (as Baucham himself is). I have many friends who like this book and have used it successfully with their children, so I want to tread lightly. Essentially, Baucham views Pearl's work as theologized behaviorism and warmed over semi-pelagianism. Specifically, he cites example after example from Pearl's work that does not fit with scripture. For example, Pearl refers to children as "incomplete creations" and "not morally viable souls", which is inconsistent with the teaching of scripture. Baucham also points out a section in Pearl's work where he alludes to each child having to stand for themselves before the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and decide for themselves, which leans toward an outright denial of original sin. Baucham comments, "the result is a child training approach that relies on behavioral modification as opposed to spiritual transformation. Instead of the child's greatest need being the gospel, his greatest need is a parent whose 'role is not like that of policemen, but more like that of the Holy Spirit," since the child is 'incapable of holding moral values.'" Baucham contrasts Pearl's approach with authors like Tedd Tripp (Shepherding a Child's Heart), who views children "not as morally neutral or incomplete beings, but sinners" which is grounded in Psalm 51 and other scriptures.
In the final section, he encourages a lifestyle evaluation. He talks about the importance of church membership and having people who are able to speak into the lives of one another. He also discusses a fairly careful analysis of how we spend our time as family shepherds. He concludes with a brief, albeit important, section on how single mom's are to function in regard to this mindset and what is the role of family and church.
On the whole, this is a very good book. I still prefer his earlier and longer book Family Driven Faith, though this is a short, worthwhile read. If you are father, I would commend this work to you.
In this book, Baucham rightly points out several key components that will enable men to step up and fill the gap we are leaving in today's church. The first point, and this is crucial, men must step up and lead in their homes first (1 Tim. 3:4-5). He must lead his family in the study of Scripture and teach them about the Christian faith. Baucham spends the first few chapters examining why men are to lead their homes and churches, and how he believes that should look in the home and in church.
True, many men aren't pastors or home group leaders. Many men have no formal Biblical training, and feel inept at the idea of teaching Theology. This may be due to laziness (because today we really have no excuse to not immerse ourselves in the wealth of solid Biblical teaching available online) or it may be due to simply being a new Christian. Yet, they are still commanded to lead their families in spiritual matters and in the teaching of doctrine. So, what do these men have to offer their children when they are just learning themselves? I love Baucham's answer: Catechism.
Those who have only heard the word "catechism" in a snide reference to the Catholic church may be apprehensive at the mere mention of the word. However, catechism is merely a way of methodically teaching Christian doctrine. This will serve both fathers and children well because as the father teaches his children (and I would add his wife, if she is a new believer), he also teaches himself. Catechism can range from simple questions with simple answers, to questions with more complex answers, and also includes Scripture references supporting the answers to help one gain both Biblical and Theological literacy.
The biggest thing I love about Baucham's book is that he pulls frequently from Scripture, but he also pulls from the wisdom of the Puritans and the Theologians of the past. This did make the book somewhat hard to read in certain places, but it is well worth the effort. Baucham does a fantastic job of presenting a gospel-centered, Christ-exalting view of what a family shepherd looks like, and how men can better lead their homes and churches.