Our History

The First 10 Years
2008 – 2018

• Auburndale Baptist Church pastoral interns urge Brian Croft to begin to write down the practical wisdom they are being taught in the internship (August).
• Brian Croft begins to make rough notes about what to do on a hospital visit and shares them with his interns (October).

• A first draft of Visit the Sick is written (April)
• Day One offers publishing contract for Visit the Sick (July)
• Mark Dever encourages the book and writes the foreword (September).

Visit the Sick is published and released in the U.S. and U.K. (January)
• Tim Challies and Justin Taylor promote the book on their widely read blogs and wipes out the U.S. Stock of the book for 2 months (March).
• Brian Croft creates a question/answer blog for pastors to address different practical aspects of pastoral ministry. The blog is called, “Practical Shepherding” (May)
Visit the Sick goes into a 3rd printing (November).

Test, Train, Affirm, and Send is released by Day One (April).
• Phil Newton approaches Brian Croft about writing a funeral book (May).
• The Practical Shepherding blog grows into an international market (October).
• Emails from pastors all over the world requesting counsel and advice becomes a weekly occurrence (December).

Conduct Gospel-Centered Funerals is released by Day One (April).
• The core of Practical Shepherding is established as these three areas: The Pastor’s Soul, The Pastor’s Ministry, and The Pastor’s Family (August)).
• Zondervan offers a publishing contract to Brian and Cara Croft to write The Pastor’s Family (September).
• The Pastor’s Fellowship for Practical Theology is launched by Brian Croft, Jim Savastio, Ryan Fullerton, and Rob Gibson (November).

• Brian Croft goes to Africa, Scotland, and England to speak and train pastors, launching the international wing of the ministry.
Visit the Sick and Conduct Gospel-Centered Funerals is translated and printed in China to be used to train pastors in underground seminaries (January).
• Brian Croft presents for the first time the core teaching of The Pastor’s Ministry at a pastor’s conference in Edinburgh, Scotland (February).
• Eric Bancroft and Bryce Butler approach Brian Croft to encourage a needed expansion of Practical Shepherding (June).
• A $50,000 donation is given to launch this expansion of the ministry (August).
• A board of directors is formed, a small staff hired, and Practical Shepherding officially constitutes as a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization (December).
• Jim Savastio becomes the first President of the new Board of Directors for Practical Shepherding (December).

• A logo and new website are created and launched (January).
• Zondervan offers Practical Shepherding an 8-book publishing deal (7-book series and The Pastor’s Ministry) (March).
The Pastor’s Family is released by Zondervan worldwide (August).
• The Practical Shepherding half day workshop is developed (December).

• The first Practical Shepherding half day workshop happens as a Pre-Conference to the Together for the Gospel Conference hosted at SBTS (April).
Visit the Sick, Test, Train, Affirm and Send (Renamed: Prepare Them To Shepherd), and Conduct Gospel-Centered Funerals are revised, updated, and published by Zondervan as the first three books in the 7-book series (June).
• The Practical Shepherding website surpasses 20,000 average monthly hits (September).

• Seven new Practical Shepherding books are published by four different publishers.
The Pastor’s Ministry is released by Zondervan worldwide (March).
• The 7-book Practical Shepherding Series with Zondervan is completed with the release of the last two books (June).
• The Practical Shepherding Podcast, Trench Talk records its first episode (July).

• Translations of books and web articles begin to be seen in multiple languages (March).
Biblical Church Revitalization is released by Christian Focus (July).
Biblical Church Revitalization becomes a finalist for book of the year with The Gospel Coalition (November).

• Practical Shepherding books surpasses 50,000 copies in print worldwide (March).
• Over 20 books have been written as Practical Shepherding resources (May).
• 100’s of pastors have been trained in workshops worldwide (August).
• The Pastor’s Fellowship for Practical Theology in Louisville, KY surpasses 200 pastors as directly involved in these meetings (September).
• Books and Articles have been translated into seven different languages (November).

• A women’s ministry is launched by new director Cara Croft to minister to pastor’s wives, women’s ministry leaders, and pastor’s kids (May).
• The Board meets to approve the fundraising and pursuit of a property to establish The Shepherd’s House (June).
The Pastor’s Soul is released (Evangelical Press) and completes The Pastoral Trilogy and core of the ministry in book form of soul, ministry, and family (July).
• The Practical Shepherding Podcast surpasses 13,000 downloads worldwide in seven months and is on pace to surpass 20,000 downloads by the end of the year (August).

• Will mark our 10-year anniversary when Visit the Sick was first published, and this ministry through the new blog was officially named, “Practical Shepherding.”


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