Shepherding Ministry: Specific Duties of a Shepherd

If you are looking for the ministry position of a shepherd, who the shepherd is responsible to, conditions for serving, the purpose of this ministry, and general ministry duties, go to the General Ministry Description.

What specifically is a shepherd to do?

To determine specific ministry duties of a shepherd, look at the needs of the sheep.

Sheep tend to stray and get lost.
They need to be
rescued and restored.

Sheep can get confused when they are scattered and not able to find their way back. As a shepherd, go after the sheep when they stray. Don't wait for or expect them to come back on their own.
An effective shepherd realizes that sometimes a visit would be beneficial. The shepherd also seeks to build an accountability with the sheep to help deter them from getting lost.

Sheep need to be fed.
They need to be led
to green pastures.

Feeding the sheep helps to strengthen and equip them for godly living and service. (Eph. 4:11-12) Without a good diet from the Word, the sheep will be undernourished and more susceptible to diseases.
An effective shepherd teaches, trains, and nurtures the sheep.

Sheep may get sick or injured.
They need to be
cared for and healed.

A shepherd needs to be observant and pay attention to the condition of the sheep. There will be times when the sheep need some extra attention.
An effective shepherd sometimes counsels, intervenes in times of crisis, and provides practical assistance as needed but also values the power of prayer in helping the person.

Sheep tend to get frightened.
They need to be comforted and encouraged.

When the storms of life come, sheep can get skittish. Trials, attacks from the enemy, and too much change can immobilize them. They need to drink from quiet waters.
An effective shepherd listens and provides comfort. But, the shepherd also knows when it is time to spur them onward.

Sheep may venture into danger.
They need to be

Sheep aren't always observant. Sometimes they act out of ignorance and sometimes out of a naivety about the world around them. Sometimes they just don't think a cliff is as steep as it is or that the waters are as deep as they are or that the briars really will stick to them and possibly hurt them.
As the Apostle Paul did, so must an effective shepherd constantly and passionately warn the sheep (Acts 20:28-30). The best safeguard is to consistently "preach the word; to be prepared in season and out of season; to correct, rebuke and encourage -- with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Tim. 4:2).

Sheep are vulnerable to attack.
They need to be
guarded and protected.

The "enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). "Savage wolves will come in among you" and "even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:28-30).
An effective shepherd oversees the flock, watching for predators, and chasing off any attackers.

Also Read: General Shepherding Ministry Description

In addition to this content, the Shepherding Ministry Manual guides you through a study on the qualifications that should be in "shepherds of God's flock" based in 1 Peter 5:1-4 and thus incorporated into their ministry description.

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