The Supervisor as Shepherd Leader
“The greatest enemy of intimacy with God is service for God”- Dallas Willard
“As ministers, the activity of our lives (“doing” for Jesus) inevitably begins to eclipse the contemplative dimension of our lives (“being” with Jesus) and soon we are engaged in more activity for God than our being with God can sustain.” – Pete Scazzero
“Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, who may go out before them and go in before them, who may lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be like sheep which have no shepherd.” – Numbers 27:16-17
The church is in desperate need of supervisors who will effectively shepherd their staff. Church history and current news suggests ministers are prone to implosion, where the pressure on the outside is greater than the inner spiritual life structure. This is understandable, as by definition ministry is depleting. Without a consistent infilling the minister soon finds himself or herself susceptible to the symptoms of implosion: depression, burnout, addictions, divorce, emotional abuse and immoral and unethical behavior.
For those who lead and supervise staff in the local church Jesus provides a clear mission….take care of the sheep he entrusts to us. Without direction, discipline, protection, feeding and nurturing sheep will go astray. A good shepherd loves his sheep enough to stay patient with these arduous and painstaking tasks.
To build consistency and intentionality into your staff shepherding responsibilities, use the following questions to develop practical strategies and an ongoing action plan for shepherding the souls of those you supervise.
Ten Shepherd Leader Questions for Reflection and Action
- How can I encourage the inner spiritual growth of my staff?
- What spiritual experiences can I offer to my staff?
- How can I assist my staff in the development of spiritual relationships (spiritual mentors, directors, guides, companions)?
- What spiritual resources can I provide to my staff?
- How can I encourage my staff to regularly observe Sabbath?
- How can I build spiritual development into my staff meetings?
- How can I know and monitor the spiritual health of my staff? What spiritual health questions can I regularly ask my staff?
- How can I increase my staff’s awareness and understanding of the implications of personhood issues, including family of origin, life experience and personality based issues?
- How can I encourage the “whole life health” of my staff (family, physical, financial, social, self-development, recreation/fun, and career)?
- How can I consistently grow my own inner spiritual life and intimacy with God to maintain a “spiritual leadership gap” between myself and those I shepherd?
Posted on May 16, 2017