Sheep to shepherd Guiding Others toward Maturity in Christ

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1 Sheep to shepherd Guiding Others toward Maturity in Christ Bible Study David Drury Indianapolis, Indiana

2 Copyright 2012 by College Wesleyan Church of Marion, Indiana Published by Wesleyan Publishing House Indianapolis, Indiana Printed in the United States of America ISBN: All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked (KJV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, KING JAMES VERSION. Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois All rights reserved. Writer: David Drury This Bible study is a companion book to Steve DeNeff and David Drury s SoulShift: The Measure of a Life Transformed (Indianapolis, Ind.: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2011). All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or any other except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

3 contents Introduction 5 How This Study Works 7 Week 1. God as Shepherd 9 Week 2. Without Good Shepherds 22 Week 3. Chosen to Shepherd 35 Week 4. Skills of a Shepherd 48 Notes 63

4 introduction Leadership is overrated! I didn t say it was insignificant, only that it was overrated. There are two ways for something to be overrated: one is to be mediocre, which is a problem for the thing itself; the other is for us to expect from it more than we should, which is a problem with us. Leadership is overrated, I think, because of the latter. For nearly thirty years (or ever since the rise of the megachurch), we have heard that everything rises or falls on leadership. Yes, but what kind of leadership? What is the model that best suits a leader in the church? Some time ago, I started collecting a list of books that my colleagues in ministry considered the most influential books they read, and I noted that almost none of them were on the subject of theology or of spiritual formation. Most were on the subject of leadership and written about models in the corporate world. In many ways, the church is a business, so it could profit from many principles that guide a successful business. But there is something missing in this model of leadership in the church. Through hard experience, we have learned that leadership in the corporate world does not always translate into leadership in the church. What the church needs is not more leaders, but more shepherds; and never has the difference between them been greater. A leader is chosen for what he can do for the organization. A shepherd is chosen for how much he loves the sheep. A leader is

5 known by her vision, but a shepherd is known by her voice. A leader budgets his time, but a shepherd often wastes his time on sheep that won t follow. My friend, David Drury, was executive pastor at College Wesleyan Church and approached that role differently than most. Dave regularly served our church and its staff, board, and leaders after the model of a shepherd. It was not uncommon for him to spend the morning coaching a troubled seeker, anointing the sick in a hospital, praying with a church leader on the phone, and then returning after lunch to prepare for the budget meeting that night. Now in a different leadership role, David understands leadership, but he leads and writes as a shepherd. In this study, he casts a vision for your influence that your church desperately needs. And he offers practical steps on making this fundamental shift in your own life. The premise of this book is simple: Jesus is looking for shepherds, and we ve been recruiting leaders. This is not wrong, but it is terribly shortsighted. We need leaders, but we need leaders with a shepherd s heart. And for want of creating a culture of shepherds, we have gotten a generation of volunteers. The shift from Sheep to Shepherd, then, is not about getting people to volunteer in new places but about getting them to shepherd in the place where they already are. It s a matter of the heart. It s a shift of the soul. Somewhere, God has already given you an audience. What would it take for you to shepherd it? What if you took responsibility for the spiritual climate of that place? I believe God wants to start a revolution of ordinary Christians who are not just leaders, but shepherds after his own heart. Steve DeNeff Senior Pastor, College Wesleyan Church 6

6 how this study works This four-week SoulShift study has two components. You ll do part of it alone and part of it together with a group of people in an existing small group, Bible study, or class. Each week includes five daily readings. You will want to encounter these with a Bible and pen in hand. Each reading has a Scripture reference so you can consider some aspect of moving from Sheep to Shepherd in the context of Scripture. Within the readings, you ll find questions to ponder. You might highlight them and take a moment to think about them right away. Or you can meditate on a question throughout the day. There are also questions each week for your group to discuss together. Your discussion group may be brand new or have years of connection. Whatever your group is like, use this SoulShift study to take things to the next level. Start by sharing from your heart on the issues raised and how you are being led to shift from Sheep to Shepherd. Christ always calls us twice. He calls us first to follow him; and we become his sheep. Then he calls us a second time to persuade others to follow us as we follow him; and we become shepherds. First we are sheep and then both sheep and shepherd. There is no greater honor than when your Savior invites you to pick up where he left off.

7 Do you love me? the disciple s Savior asked him. With a twinge of hurt on his face, the disciple replied, You know I love you, Lord. His Savior smiled and said, Then feed my sheep. 8

8 week 1 God as shepherd If you want to know how God wants you to shepherd his sheep, look to how God shepherds, and you ll have the perfect example. Do what he would do. 1

9 Day 1 Ezekiel 34:11 15 y youngest daughter once woke up at the same time as her early rising older brother and father. Her hair was a mess, looking like something had made a nest out of it in the night. One pant leg was bunched up over her knee in static cling. She stumbled to the table where I sat, and she asked for some breakfast. I had already eaten and was reading, somewhat preoccupied. So I told her brother, who was pouring his own cereal already, to pour another bowl for her. She looked up at me with sad eyes and said, But I want you to fix me breakfast and eat it with me. Then she started to rub her eyes as if she was about to cry. For her, there was no substitute for food prepared by her father. And the I myself will tend my same is true for us. If we want to become sheep and have them lie down, declares the more intentional shepherds to those Sovereign LORD. around us which is what this study is Ezekiel 34:15 about we must start with the Good Shepherd. For whenever we shepherd, we must admit that the flock is ultimately his. And whenever we re being good shepherds, it s only because we re imitating the Good Shepherd who goes before us, shepherding those around us and ourselves too. M i

10 We can be thankful to have a God who gets involved directly in our lives. Our God is not a distant deity. He doesn t delegate the dirty work to priests and pastors. He feeds his sheep. As if to emphasize that point, in Ezekiel 34, he said, I myself will tend my sheep. How could I resist my daughter s request? When she came with bedraggled hair and messed up pajamas and asked me to make her breakfast and eat it with her, I responded. I didn t delegate. I needed to get involved and shepherd as a father like my Father in heaven does in turn for you and me. Your Compare and contrast the behavior of the bad shepherds and the Good Shepherd in Ezekiel 34. How has God fed you recently? How do you need him to feed you today? This week? What opportunities to be fed are coming up for you that you should take advantage of? Are their people in your life who you need to tend to more directly? Is someone crying out for your direct attention and you can no longer delegate that responsibility, no longer expect someone else to tend to that sheep in your life? 11

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