Welcome to New Shepherds Orientation, a blog and website dedicated to providing information, inspiration, and appreciation for those men and their families who serve as shepherds (elders, bishops, overseers) of the Lord’s church.
I have served with 64 shepherds in full-time and interim ministry in addition to scores of others in workshops, consultations, and gospel meetings. These men have taught me, encouraged me, corrected me, and supported me since I started preaching in 1961.
My full-time ministry has taken me to five congregations as the local preacher 1967–2007 and five congregations for interim ministry 2007–2015.
I was blessed with a variety of experiences in transition in ministry. The first place out of school was my first full-time work and their first full-time preacher. I didn’t know what I was doing when I went and didn’t know what I was doing when I left. In the second congregation, I was fired. The third, I resigned without having any idea of where I was going. Between the fourth and last church, I spent seven months discussing, planning, and thinking. It was a slow, smooth transition.
In all of these I learned about leadership, myself, and how to serve and many ways not to serve. I want to share some of those learning experiences with you and others.
I plan to post twice a month and add multiple resources that will help elders be more effective in their great work.
Some of the topics to be discussed:
- Majority or minority rule? How many votes do you give to each elder?
- Setting goals
- Head elder: toxic, benevolent, none?
- No-suicide contract for leadership
- Elders appreciation parties
- Shepherds who leave when the wolf comes don’t care — Jesus
- How to hear criticism
- For pain to be most productive: anticipated, chosen, managed
- When most people hurt me, I gave them permission
- Contracts – why, written, items, reviewed
- Elder rules
- Elder operating procedures: non-negotiable, negotiable.
- Counseling for me
- Are death wishes the best way to solve leadership problems?
- How to get rid of a bad elder
- Questions to learn more about your family
- How do you want the church to be? — Be that!
- How to keep things from falling through the cracks
- Elders’ meetings
- Discussion before decisions
- Elder-preacher relationships.
- Family meetings
- A leader is a non-anxious presence
- Funerals and parties
- Processing anger
- Who selects leaders?
- How to select leaders
- What kind and how many leadership seeds are you sowing?
- Planning a preacher’s (elder’s) departure
- Eldership agreement
- 48-hour rule
- Anonymous letters
- Counseling, referral, followup
- Suicide, 3 questions, contract
- Elders I have known
- Why do other people keep me so busy?
- Delegation steps
- Listening until the other person gets through talking
- Sabbath — day a week
- Good leaders may not be the first to speak
- Learning to Love my Friend(s)
- God’s Great Servants
- Are you allowing your last preacher to control your present preacher?
- How to deliver bad news — death
- How to deliver bad news — termination, reduction in pay
- Should we let our preacher preach after he resigns, is released?
- “They say we are not open”
What would you like to see discussed first?
What other topics would be helpful?
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