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The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protecting, and Providing for Your Family Paperback – September 30, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
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“Dr. Witmer’s The Shepherd Leader has been a huge encouragement to me and to my elders as we seek to be more faithful shepherds to our congregation. Now comes this helpful book: The Shepherd Leader at Home. In it, Witmer provides biblical, complementarian, practical direction for knowing, leading, providing for, and protecting our families. As a pastor, one of the five principle things I aim to do is to 'promote family religion.' That is, perhaps, a quaint way of emphasizing that godliness in the home is vital to the health of the local church. This book is a useful aid to that end. I commend it to you warmly.”
—J. Ligon Duncan III, Chancellor, CEO, and John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary
“With marriage and the family under present-day pressures, it takes a wise man to think and write well about being a husband and father under God. This book reveals Dr. Witmer as just such a wise man, and makes his wisdom available to us all. Highly recommended.”
—J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College
“Another book on marriage and family life? Yes, but this one is different. It is short, but not easy; practical, but also deeply realistic; honest, but also warm. Also, thankfully, for all that Dr. Witmer is—seminary professor, preaching pastor, author, father, and husband—here is one thing he never pretends to be, namely Guru! Perhaps that's why this is such a wonderfully encouraging book.”
—Sinclair B. Ferguson, Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries
“I deeply appreciated reading The Shepherd Leader at Home. It provides a great approach for leading a family by practicing the ancient shepherding principles of knowing, leading, providing for, and protecting. I love the biblical foundations, the warm illustrations and the practical suggestions for caring for the flock at home. I highly recommend this book by Dr. Witmer.”
—Scott Thomas, Founder, Gospel Coach; coauthor, Gospel Coach: Shepherding Leaders to Glorify God
“Reading Dr. Witmer’s new book is simultaneously greatly encouraging and deeply convicting. Encouraging, because it’s saturated with the truth and hope of the gospel. Convicting, because there’s no greater measure of a man’s success that the way he loves his family. The Shepherd Leader at Home is devoid of cliché and filled with practical instruction on how to reveal the servant love of Jesus to our wives and children.”
—Scotty Ward Smith, Pastor Emeritus, Christ Community Church, Franklin, Tennessee; Teacher in Residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, Tennessee
“We can be thankful for many books written to help Christians raise godly families. Dr. Witmer takes aim at a specific kind of Christian family—the family of the ‘Shepherd Leader.’ And his aim is true—he hits the bull’s-eye! This is a book that is carefully biblical but also practical and realistic and is based in what Tim has experienced. This is a necessary compliment to Tim’s earlier book on shepherd leadership in the church—maybe this one about the home should be read first.”
—Stephen E. Smallman, Assistant Pastor, New Life Presbyterian Church, Glenside, Pennsylvania; Instructor, CityNet Ministries of Philadelphia; author, Spiritual Birthline, Forty Days on the Mountain, and The Walk
“We are faced with a serious global crisis in the collapse of the biblical family—a crisis, which will eventually lead to the collapse of the church and the society. Dr. Witmer, who already introduced the idea of shepherd leadership in the church, now explores shepherd leadership in the home from his ministerial experiences, with the hope of enabling us to overcome our contemporary crisis. His book is profound, coherent, and practical from the biblical perspective. It provides biblical and practical guidelines for the happiness of the family. If you want to keep your family happier, you should read this book.”
—In Whan Kim , Professor Emeritus, Former Professor of Old Testament Studies and President of Chongshin University and Seminary, Seoul, Korea
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.
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Top customer reviews
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One connection I wished was made more visible is the biblical concept of the family as a reflection of Christ and His Church. Men would be well served to consider how a vital connection under the authority of local church leadership would provide the context to model godly submission with joy.
I plan to make use of this valuable book with the men of our church and thank Timothy Witmer for his fine work.
Here are some of my highlights:
Is it clear to your spouse that she is the most significant person in the world to you? Do you tell her that she is? Do you act as though she is?
(Q)uality time doesn’t replace the need for quantity time.
If your communication with one another is not entirely truthful, then there is probably a crack in the trust level of your relationship.
If I speak from a superior plane, that’s far more damaging, and contempt is any statement made from a higher level.
Do you know your wife’s greatest worry? Do you know her greatest concern for herself or for you or for the children? Do you know what sin she struggles with the most? What unmet aspirations does she harbor? What regrets does she have? Do you know what unmet aspirations she harbors?
(the same questions are asked in regards to your child. This is crucially important in their adolescent and teenage years.)
(W)e are predisposed to say no whenever our children come to us with a request.
Sit down with your wife and discuss your goals for your family. Do they reflect the Lord’s priorities? How well are you communicating those priorities to your children?
Is my wife more like Christ because she is married to me? Or is she like Christ in spite of me?
When your children are in a position to make meaningful choices themselves, help them to understand the biblical principles that interface with those decisions.
(In regards to discipline and forgiveness): The objective is to expect the Lord to work in our children’s lives in such a way that, as they experience their own inability to keep the simplest instructions and God’s commandments, they will see their need for the Savior and look to him for forgiveness
I'm currently reading Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People and am struck by how much more Carnegie discusses shepherd-like behavior with family--particularly children-- than Witmer. Little is said about the power of encouragement and understanding the other person's point of view. This would, of course, be crucial among a shepherd leader and is essentially left out of Witmer's book.
I would also recommend reading Eggerich's Love and Respect before reading this book.The other will go further in improving marital relations. There are plenty of books on parenting you should read instead of this one.
I read this book in a critical week in our marriage, it helped foster good conversation between my wife and I in order to work out some differences. It encouraged me to be more intentional with Scripture and the Gospel in activities with our son. So, net positive from the book. I would recommend it to others but maybe not to those who I know have read a lot of other resources on marriage and parenting.
3 stars out of 5.