Elder’s Book Club

The Purpose:  To present and participate in an hour and a half study/discussion/prayer time.  The discussions will be wrapped around the following questions:

  • What new information did you learn?
  • How does it relate to our church?
  • What should we consider doing about this information?

We will close with prayer and be grateful for everyone’s input into the discussion about our church’s growth.  A final benefit we are looking for in this plan is for your input on individuals in our church (Shepherding) that may need some level of support of which we may not be aware but you/we may be able to help.

The Agenda (an honest attempt!): Begin eating at 6am, Doug offers an introduction and review at 6:15am, group feedback at 6:25am, ground rules for prayer list development 6:35, specific Shepherding needs & prayer 6:40am,

The Next Dates:

  • 6am Monday, January 16th at Burger King, Doug’s introduction
  • 6am Monday, February 20th  at TLCC room 405, one elder’s perspective/review, discussion & prayer  (no food)
  • 6am Monday, March 19th  at TLCC room 405, another elder’s perspective/review, discussion & prayer  (no food) [Presentation of another book and dates for the next three months]

This quarter’s book – They Smell Like Sheep

Dr. Anderson’s tenure of ministry and experiences in three churches (West Memphis AR, Abilene TX, Dallas TX) provides both a diversity of input and time for hard questions and longterm answers to be developed AND tested. The book’s premise is that a good spiritual leader will smell like his flock just as any shepherd would smell like the sheep he is pastoring. In fact, the sheep would probably just see the shepherd as one of their own who happens to be able to walk on two feet and protect them from danger.

He pointed out a key thought that:  “We need to follow Jesus’ leadership style. He recruited 12, graduated 11 and focused on 3.”

There are three benefits proposed by Lynn in his introduction.

  1. Christians will want to follow shepherds whose lives are credible and their relationships are authentic and warm – not just programmed.
  2. Leaders will want to shepherd since the load will be manageable, not more than “12 & 3”
  3. Leaders will enjoy finally seeing some fruit for their labors.

The book did not focus on just pastors (ministers) either. It was about leadership in the church at any  and all levels. He even made the point that a church leader could possibly be someone who has not had any official authority appointed to him. If one will simply find an area in which to serve others he is a shepherd.

This book is divided into two parts:

  1. Three interrelated spiritual leadership models Shepherd, mentor, equipper
  2. Biblical teachings about elders, men of experience, character, and vision.

Some words that depend on unique definitions:

  • Shepherd pg. 19
  • Hired Hand pg. 31
  • Cowboy pg. 32
  • Sherriff pg. 32
  • Pop manager pg. 34
  • CEO/Chairman of a board pg. 34
  • Mentor pg. 49
  • “Spiritual Power Lunch” pg. 55
  • “Winsome, strong, faithful, flawed – mentors” pg. 60ff
  • “Shared life” pg. pg. 102ff
  •  ‘Problem & Possibility People’ pg.116
  • “Moral Suasion” pg. 207ff

 

He offers some reasonable ideas on how to pursue living and serving like that:

  1. Jesus talked with them until they began to hear his voice way down in their souls.
  2. How do people today come to trust people they are following?
  3. Discuss… “We church people sometimes get so respectable that we hurt people and they can’t stand to be around us” pg. 42
  4. “Spiritual mentors model more than style & vision. They demonstrate and pass on faith formation, Christ-like lifestyle, ministry skills, and more.” Pg. 56
  5. Discuss… “Leaders must learn to be satisfied with decreasing levels of intimacy, as their circles of relationship expand outside the inner circle.” Pg. 94
  6. “The very attempt to pull off a perfect image demonstrates a lack of integrity.” Pg. 114
  7. The authority of an elder grows out of …the quality of the elder’s life. Pg. 128
  8. I am not going to trust my soul to someone who has not yet been through midlife crisis pg. 138

He has begun to invite us to ask the right questions of ourselves & our Christian ‘leaders’

What Scriptures are provided to help us outline answers to these questions?  (The end notes at the back of the book list all the Scriptures to which he refers.)

  • Shepherd pg. 18 – Ac 20:28; 1 Pe. 5:2-4
  • Spiritual Mentoring pg. 52ff – Mt. 20:25-28; Mt. 16:24; 1 Cor. 11:1; Phil 4:9; 2 Thess. 3:6-7; 2 Thess. 3:9; 1 Pe 5:2,3; Ac 20:17, 18,28,35; 1 Thess. 5:14; Eph. 4:11
  • What experiences are important? Pg. 137-155
  • What “characteristics” reveal character? Pg. 159 – 166
  • What does an elder with “vision” look like?  Pg. 169 – 184
  • When the Bible says “authority” what does it mean? Pg. 187 – 206
  • What are “Words that Won’t Break Bones” pg. 201-202

Chapter discussion questions pg. 219 – 225

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s