How can a pastor be certain he is regularly shepherding everyone in his church?

Though we are shepherds who will give an account for each soul in our care (Heb. 13:17), we all still have this tendency to gravitate to those we either love to be with the most or who make the most racket, thus demanding our attention.  Because of this, there are church members who unintentionally slip through the cracks.  In seeing this in the early years of my ministry, I came up with this system that has become a very effective way to care for our folks and to cut down on unnecessary and unintentional neglect.

I created a prayer guide with each member of the church broken into a 28 day chart in alphabetical order.  This is to represent the first 28 days of each month.  On day 1, I pray for those 5-6 people or families.  Then, I try to make some kind of personal contact with them that day in the form of a home visit, email, hand written card, phone call, facebook note, or text message to let them know I prayed for them on that day.  Lastly, I ask in that moment of personal contact if there is anything I can do to serve them.  For those I haven’t seen recently, I will usually call or go see them to get an update on how they are doing in general.

I repeat the same process for day 2, then day 3…all the way to day 28.  If I am faithful and consistent in this process (which I never do perfectly) I would have prayed and made contact with all those who have been entrusted in my care in one month.  Any extra days of the month I do the same thing with our missionaries and others we have sent into ministry from our church.

This became such a fruitful system to keep up with all our folks that I took it to our other pastors/elders and they began to do it also.  It became such a fruitful system for each of us as pastors that we made a chart for our members and encouraged them to pray for each other in the same way as a prayer guide for our church.  Several of the members have even adopted the model of the pastors to contact folks that day they pray for them.   It has been amazing the fruit that has come from many of our members taken this task to pray for one another seriously.

On a previous women’s retreat, one of our dear ladies in the church led our ladies in a project to take that chart and transfer it to index cards that can sit on their table a home in the form of a flip calendar.  Each morning, you just flip to the next day and you see who you are to be praying for that day.  Since putting this on the table in our home, our children now make an assertive effort to pray for those appointed for that day.  They also fight over who gets to “flip the card.”

I have been grateful and encouraged by our church’s response to pray for each other once we gave them a deliberate way to accomplish this.  Regardless the layers of benefit that has come from this prayer guide, it has ultimately created a system of accountability for myself and the rest of the pastors to make sure we never neglect or unintentionally leave behind a sheep.

On the next post, I will explain how this system of shepherding can be accomplished in a larger church setting.

Posted in Oversight of Souls
10 comments on “How can a pastor be certain he is regularly shepherding everyone in his church?
  1. Luis Acosta says:

    Dear brother,
    Would you be willing to email me a blank copy? I’ve encouraged our congregation as well as our leaders to use our church directory as a prayer guide (an idea I picked up from Dever’s 9 Marks book). We are currently transitioning from a single-pastor model to elders and this would be an excellent resource to help us shepherd our people with greater intentionality and accountability.

    God’s best to you and yours!
    Luis Acosta, Pastor – Pines Baptist Church

    • Double AA says:

      Hey Luis,

      Mark Dever is good but have you considered any of John MacArthur’s material? He is sounding the alarm.

      AA

  2. Chad Beck says:

    Great ideal for being faithful to shepherd one’s flock. I do something like this (praying, texting, sending Facebook notes), but I am not as intentional in mapping it out. Therefore, I am going to adopt some of your methods. If that is alright, by you?

  3. anderson says:

    I’d like to trasnlate this into spanish and post it on my blog. Thanks

  4. anderson says:

    I’d like to trasnlate this into spanish and post it on my blog.. just asking. Thanks

  5. Steve G says:

    Could I get a blank copy of this prayer guide?

    Thank you.

    Steve Grissom
    glorytohim2005@gmail.com

  6. GREAT idea! I’m a “systems” guy, to be sure, and this kind of thing will help immensely. Do you have a blank copy you can share a screenshot of for me to get a visual idea of how to make my own? Thanks in advance!

6 Pings/Trackbacks for "How can a pastor be certain he is regularly shepherding everyone in his church?"
  1. […] Shepherding the Whole Flock Brian Croft with practical advice for ensuring that pastors are shepherding the whole flock. […]

  2. […] Pastor Brian Croft offers very practical suggestions on How a Pastor Can Be Certain He Is Regularly Shepherding Everyone in His Church. […]

  3. […] worth your time). Brian Croft offered a simple plan that would enable pastors to be faithful in shepherding their entire flock. He went on to show how this work for larger churches. Mez McConnell posted some helpful thoughts […]

  4. […] If you’re intentionally shepherding is anyone being missed? (But what if it’s a really big […]

  5. […] How can a pastor be certain he is regularly shepherding everyone in his church? “Though we are shepherds who will give an account for each soul in our care (Heb. 13:17), we all still have this tendency to gravitate to those we either love to be with the most or who make the most racket, thus demanding our attention. Because of this, there are church members who unintentionally slip through the cracks.” […]

  6. […] week, I posted about a system on how to regularly shepherd everyone in your church, then followed that up with how to do so in a larger church. At the request of many of you, you […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Donate

Help send free Practical Shepherding resources to pastors around the world.

Categories
Facebook
Subscribe

Email:

RSS Feeds:

Advertisements