Saturday, September 30, 2023
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Listen online to the latest messages from Pastor Bob and others at Shoreline Community Church...

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Introduction: Shepherdology

There are times when it is good for pastors/leaders to go "aside" with the Lord to receive special instruction and encouragement, as well as to establish what their priorities should be—Mark 4:34; 9:30-32. More often than not, however, when a pastor attempts to spend such a time, those moments are interrupted—Mark 6:30-33.

This seminar is designed to be accessible to pastors at the time when those rare moments of uninterrupted availability occur. My prayer is that our Lord will use this seminar to give you deeper insight into your ministry as shepherds, and for the novice, provide a foundation for your ministry.


Some of these lessons are included in our maturity program called the School of Discipleship.

[span class=download]Solitude, Silence and Sabbaticals: a Powerpoint presentation for pastors[/span]

Finishing Well—Hebrews 12:1-3 

The key question to ask and answer for all of us is, "How can I finish well?" Supplemental to this question are the related ones: "Who did not finish well?" "Why did they not finish well?" The writer of Hebrews is in effect saying, "Don't give up too soon; don't relax before the tape; don't stay down if you fall; get up; refocus your attention on the Author and Finisher of the race; and finish the race." From this passage, as well as observing a number of authors, biographies, mentors, friends, and family members, we will see 6 characteristics of people who finished well.

Priorities of a Pastor—1 Timothy 4:11-16 (The Cure For Ineffective Ministry)

If you are thinking about mailing back your ordination papers, I will give you at least one word of consolation. You are not the first nor the only person to feel the frustration of a full court press. So when Paul writes his first letter to his young associate, Timothy, he wants to spell out how people should behave in the church and he wants to speak a word to Timothy himself. In this situation, he is going to tell Timothy that at a time like this, he had better get back to fundamentals; make first things central. Here in I Timothy 4, Paul spells out for his young friend (and through Timothy, for us), the priority of ministry that will cause the people of God to respect us and to respond to us.

Job Description of a Spiritual Leader—1 Thessalonians 2:1-20 (Paul's Heart and Ministry Modeled and Described)

What is the job description of a spiritual leader? I'm sure we could compile quite a list of expectations. In I Thessalonians 1 & 2, we have an example of Paul's heart and ministry modeled and described. It is an amazing story and example for us. This passage tells us why the Thessalonians stayed true and the church grew at such a remarkable pace. It didn't just happen; there were certain elements present that made it strong.

The Heart And Ministry of a Great Leader—Acts 20:16-38.

This session gives us an essential truth for leadership and that is, the heart and ministry of a minister are inseparable. If we intend to be effective and reflect the lordship of Christ in our leadership, then we need to constantly remind ourselves of the relationship between these two. To put it another way: what I do is a reflection of who I am. Or, the outer life of service is sustained by an inner life of devotion. To illustrate this relationship, we want to look at the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul. We will do this by isolating our attention on only one of the churches he founded and pastored. This church was located in Ephesus. In this section of Scripture, we will review the summary remarks of Paul to the elders at Ephesus.

Defeating Discouragement and Burnout—1 Kings 19 (Lessons from Elijah in the Desert)

A recent survey revealed:

  • 1 of 3 feels burned out within the first 5 years of ministry
  • 75% have reported a significant crisis due to stress at least once in their ministry.

Pastors need to take this area seriously and develop a Theology of Self-Care. Carl George: "One in five pastors is physically and/or emotionally 'burned out.' He or she hasn't stopped functioning altogether yet, but pastors who are burned out have lost the zest for ministry; they 'go through the motions' day after day; but with little joy, and with greatly reduced capability for effective service. The sad part of this is that pastors who burn out are among our most dedicated and committed clergy.

The hopeful part is that pastoral burnout can be avoided, and, if caught in time, can usually be remedied." This session is a wonderful study on how to recover from and/or prevent burnout. We will study the life of Elijah just before and after Mount Carmel. It is a model for all who are in helping professions/ministries. It is also a very personal study of how God cares and ministers to a dispirited prophet, i.e., a person who has faithfully followed the Lord and is now discouraged, defeated, and maybe burned out.

How To Be Strong During An Emotional Upheaval—2 Corinthians

This session will share something from my personal pilgrimage, as well as from the life of the Apostle Paul as seen in Second Corinthians. Many who go through an emotional upheaval in their lives end up adding to their problems by the way they handle their emotions. They may say to themselves: "you shouldn't be experiencing what you are going through. It is not right to be in such a state." One of the finest examples of emotional health is exemplified in 2 Corinthians. Paul shared his emotions and concerns for the Corinthians, and we will see the result was not a weakening of their relationship, but rather, his vulnerability contributed to a very positive strengthening of their bond. We will study a number of upheaval words in this book. They are words that express deep emotion, distress, and trouble. We will then get a definition of the word and see the cause of, the cure for, and the consequences of each of these emotional situations.

Remember Your Leaders—Hebrews 13:7-8

It is constructive to remember those who have influenced us; those who have lived through testings and trials. The Jewish people were called to remember the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. It is likewise appropriate for us to remember our leaders as well. We might be tempted to drift or to return to our old way of life, but leaders can help us. Which leaders? Those "who spoke the word of God to you." But notice what we are to consider about those memorable leaders: v. 7c—"Consider the outcome of their way of life..." If you want to be a leader, or you are a leader, these verses should be a powerful call to you.

A Harvest of Character Qualities

What are some of the specific character qualities we can deduce from Scripture that all disciples/leaders should have growing in their lives? When a leader is described, the tendency is to look at the outward appearances, actions, or gifts. It is interesting to note, however, that outward manifestations are rarely, if ever, mentioned in choosing leaders in the early church. This study will look at the specific spiritual qualities that will need to be developed in maturing Christians and leaders.

Designing a Philosophy of Ministry  

This session will focus on three questions: What types of growth are there? What makes a church grow? How do we implement our contemporary growth strategy? To aid us in the last question, we will study how to use the Planning Funnel. By this means, we will seek to: A. Develop a philosophy of ministry; B. Pray for ministry, leadership, outreach development, and deployment; C. Project goals for the future in keeping with our calling/philosophy; D. Find a wise implementation of our philosophy and goals; E. Learn to make an evaluation of the progress; and F. Assess the climate for growth.

Theological Foundations

In a general fashion, this session will simply lay out for the us the theological underpinnings for any ministry, especially a discipleship ministry. Participants in the seminar will have a chance to rewrite or affirm this theological statement.

Related Links

Expository Preaching (Riveted and Relevant). Being riveted to Scripture, and at the same time being relevant to our times is the balance needed for expository preaching. This seminar will focus on a number of key ingredients that are central to the expository process, and lead to pertinent steps of implementation in people's lives.