We are excited to announce that we will be having a Practical Shepherding Workshop on Monday, April 11, 2016, the night before Together for the Gospel begins. It will be held at Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, KY less than 10 miles from the conference sight. The workshop will be from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm. This is the church where Pastor Brian Croft serves and where Practical Shepherding began. Since the pre-conferences do not start until Tuesday morning, this workshop can be attended without sacrificing other T4G events. Snacks, drinks, and a bookstore full of discounted practical resources will be provided.
What is a Practical Shepherding Workshop?
Our Practical Shepherding Workshop is an intense one day practical training for pastors, church leaders, and aspiring pastors that focus on the life of a pastor to “Pay careful attention to yourself and your flock” (Acts 20:28). We accomplish this by focusing on 5 main areas:
- The Pastor’s Soul (The personal care of a pastor’s own soul)
- The Pastor’s Ministry (The 10 priorities of every busy pastor’s ministry)
- The Pastor’s Family (Discussing how a pastor can more faithfully care for his family)
- The Pastor’s Journey (Brian Croft tells the painful, yet redemptive story of his first 10 years as Senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church)
- The Pastor’s Inquiry (A time of “Q and A” with a panel of PS endorsed pastors moderated by Brian Croft)
Register now and get the early bird registration cost ($50; $40 student rate). You must register and pay to reserve your spot. Limited seating!
Register and pay through this link: PS Workshop Pre-T4G
The best way to care for those in our church who may be alone on Thanksgiving is to invite them to your family gathering, or find others in your church who would be willing to take them in. This takes some effort by the pastor, or someone else in the church who has the time and desire to ask around, find out who is in town, and put people together. Yet, I would argue this effort is worth it.
Last year just a day before Thanksgiving, I recieved word that a young single and a widow in our church were staying in town and had no where to go . Because I had already asked around to see who was having people over within our church, I was able to gracious impose on these folks in our church who were more than willing to set one more place setting at the table for these alone for the holidays.
I also have fond memories of my father bringing surprise guests over for Thanksgiving.
Do not underestimate the impact this has on your children and other family present as they see you reach out to care for your brother or sister in Christ with no family to spend Thanksgiving with them.
Thanksgiving is coming up, but it is not too late to connect young singles and widows to some hospitable folks in your church who desire to minister the gospel in this way. If you cannot reach anyone…take them home with you. This post was originally inspired by my father who almost every year brought some elderly widow home with him on Thanksgiving who he discovered at the last minute was alone.
A related post that also applies to this question as Christmas approaches is this previous post How can you serve widow during the holidays?
Big Day! After several years of work, the Practical Shepherding Series published by Zondervan is now complete and available as a full set. Thanks to my dear friends and co-authors for their partnership in this work. Here are the details from Zondervan:
The Practical Shepherding Complete Set edited by Brian Croft, provides pastors and ministry leaders everything they need to know about practically and effectively leading their flock.
The Practical Shepherding Complete Set includes everything you need to be equipped to lead and serve in all aspects of your ministry. It contains:
- Prepare Them to Shepherd
- Visit the Sick
- Conduct Gospel-Centered Funerals
- Comfort the Grieving
- Gather God’s People
- Pray for the Flock
- Oversee God’s People.
These seven volumes will give you clear and practical direction to lead and serve those you are ministering to. Each volume will provide easy-to-follow steps to help you better serve your flock in the different aspects of ministry.
Buy the full set here
Here is some excellent, insightful advice from my wife to pastor’s wives on this matter:
Wives we play a very important role in this process. First, we need to encourage our husbands in doing this. One way this can be accomplished is by giving up some of our time with our husbands so they can spend that time- even one-on-one with our children.
Our children are only home for a short time so it is important we make this a priority.
Second, we need to remember that we are the ones that spend the majority of the time with our children. As a homeschooling mom, I spend my days with our kids. I am seeing first hand both areas of their struggle and growth. It is imperative that I share these things with my husband so that he knows how best to train and instruct them. I can’t expect him to just magically know what has happened through our day.
We are in this together so we need to work together.
Finally, we need to encourage our children to desire this time with their dads, but also to be gracious when unexpected things call them away. And we do this very much by example! We need to be just as excited to see our husbands when they come home as our children are, and we need to be gracious and understanding when the church needs our husbands more than we do at the moment.
Well said. Pastors, before our wives can be mindful to serve us in our efforts, we need to make sure we are being diligent to shepherd and disciple our children individually and weekly. For info on how to accomplish this, see this previous post.