...helping elders continue to grow as shepherds of God’s people by:

  • Posting informative and encouraging posts on servant leadership.
  • Providing productive weekend workshops for shepherds, ministers, and spouses.
New Shepherds Orientation and Seasoned Shepherds Revitalization

Between Preachers: You Can Grow Through Interim Ministry, by Jerrie Barber

New book about interim ministry

When a preacher stays a long time, usually the church doesn’t like the next preacher. I volunteer to be the next preacher they don’t like. During the six to eighteen months Gail and I work with them, they have time to grieve their losses and wisely select their next preacher. This book describes how we do it.


Roger Leonard recommends Between Preachers

My wife, Alisa, and I were in the first Interim Ministry workshop Jerrie conducted. It was most informative and helpful. This book is an excellent summary of the workshop and thorough guide to getting started in interim ministry, and for churches to understand how it can work positively. There are supplementary resource recommendations inside. Preachers, elders, deacons, and other church members can work toward better communication, relationships, transitions, and longer-term preacher tenures by using the ideas in this book.

— Roger L. Leonard

Scheduling a New Shepherds Orientation Workshop


Would you like improve your effectiveness, realize more satisfaction in your work as a shepherd, and bless the flock you oversee? Click here for more information: New Shepherds Orientation Workshop


Discuss with fellow shepherds, ministers on staff, and spouses about the weekend of training, and discuss possible dates.


Contact Jerrie Barber for details and select a date for your workshop

Email: jerrie@barberclippings.com

Phone: (615) 584-0512

Learning, training, and growing as a shepherd brings:

  • Joy as people follow you as you follow Jesus. 1 Corinthians 11:1; Hebrews 13:17
  • Respect because you have worked hard, you have encouraged, you have admonished, and the people are at peace because you have been willing to endure the pain that brings peace with God, yourself, and others. 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13
  • At your graduation, you will receive a crown of glory given by the Chief Shepherd. 1 Peter 5:1-4

Contact Jerrie for more information, cell: (615) 584-0512     



What I learned in my first year as…

…an elder: 

Beginning First Year

I’ve changed jobs at least 14 times since High School. Nothing prepared me for the newness of being an Elder. I started off with some concepts that I wanted to be as an Elder – Caring, Compassionate, Communicative, Lively, and Sincere. Genuine also comes in there. But always, and I mean always, I sought to do God’s Will. Prayed for it. Questioned myself daily. Studied to assure positions were pointed in the correct direction. And through it all, still kept seeking to know if I was in His direction. This continued not only the first year but on-going.

So I learned that no matter how confident and poised and studied, I would doubt myself and the Elders and the Congregation in many ways.

My history has been one of reading the Bible front to cover several times, and being studious in classes and even taking notes during sermons. I’ve done that since my teen years. I regret not attending a Christian College with Bible studies. I was surprised to find that only half the Eldership personally studied the Bible or had read it front to back. So, one thing we did as Elders was to study together Saturday mornings, since many of us taught or attended different classes. Additionally, there were so many strong differing options about scriptural topics that I would write each one and start studying. My list of topics was three pages long—-the list not the results. In addition to the studying I spent a large amount of time spent meditating on study and checking for bias or false premises. I have not completed my studies, and I do not see an end in sight. The more I think I know, the more I know that I don’t’ know.


To read more from Bill: Bill's First Year


To read more from elders and their wives about their first year of service, click on the button:   Click Here

New Shepherds Orientation Blog Posts

My First Year as an Elder — Bill Thornton

When I started the new blog New Shepherds Orientation in January 2015, I emailed many elders and their wives. These...

Book of the Quarter: Crucial Conversations

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler; Copyright ©...

Who’s Gonna Fill Their (Our) Shoes?

Who’s gonna fill their shoes?Who’s gonna stand that tall?Who’s gonna play the OpryAnd the Wabash Cannonball?Who’s gonna give their heart...

Rewarding Growth — Do Little Things a Long Time

Jesus said faith as a mustard seed could move a mountain: Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith...

“How Much Visitation Will You Do?”

I was “trying out.” I had preached and was answering questions after services. A kind, gracious, dignified, older lady asked,...

Book of the Quarter: The Way of the Shepherd

The Way of the Shepherd: 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Productive People, by Dr. Kevin Leman and William Pentak; Copyright...

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Most Opened Blog Posts