Ministry requires that I wear many hats. The list of things that need done each week is never ending. When I first entered ministry I did so blindly assuming that I would be a teacher of kids. Instead, after several years I began to realize that was I was, instead a shepherd. On a weekly basis, there are three groups of people I am responsible to shepherd.
1. I shepherd the kids in my care: I write hand written notes each week to kids in my ministry because I want them to know that I love them. I encourage them when they've been sick. I attend surgeries or birthday parties. I attend basketball games and school plays.
Practical Shepherding: I send a note "I am so glad you're a part of my ministry. I know God has huge things in store for your future. I can't wait to see what He does. I'm praying for you today."
2. I shepherd their parents: I often write notes on Facebook or send messages to parents encouraging them. I want them to know that I am in their corner. I will be their biggest cheerleader and support system. I want them to know that they can trust my heart when it comes to their kids spiritual development. We are a team.
Practical Shepherding: I text "You're doing an awesome job (mom or dad). Your kids are so great. I'm praying for you tonight as parents.
3. I shepherd those who serve alongside me: I love team building. I love pouring into people and seeing them use their gifts and talents the way God intended. It gives me a great sense of joy to share their burdens and know their hearts. Early in my ministry I wanted people to do what I asked them to do because I was the in charge person. Now I want them to know my heart and sense my vision. It often becomes theirs too and together, we form an unstoppable team.
Practical Shepherding: I text "How might I best pray for you and your family this week?" on a quarterly basis.
How about you? How do you practically carry out your role as shepherd in your ministry?