...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

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

The Lord’s Supper: Save it from COVID-19

One of the most disruptive things to me about COVID-19 has been the Lord’s Supper. For more than forty years,...

What Do You Expect of Members of the Congregation?

About two years ago, I visited with a pastor who started a new church. It was in a section of...

How to Keep Your Preacher from Asking for a Raise

Many preachers (and elders) are uncomfortable talking about money. I’ve written about my fright in discussing it. My First Raise...

Book of the Quarter: Family Systems and Congregational Life

Family Systems and Congregational Life: A Map for Ministry, by R. Robert Creech, © 2019 by R. Robert Creech, Baker Academic...

Before Setting Goals, Managing Time: Reflect on Unifying Principles

In January 1985, I listened to lectures on tape of The Insight System for Planning Your Time and Your Life, by...

My After-running Attitude Adjustment Talk

Fifty years ago, I started repeating favorite verses and sayings after my run: Physical exercise has some value (1 Timothy 4:8,...

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Most Opened Blog Posts

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.


Travis Irwin recommends Between Preachers, by Jerrie Barber

I’ve been blessed to hear Jerrie Barber many times over the years. I am so happy that he has put much of his studies, knowledge and wisdom into print. His book also contains much of his material with which I am not familiar. I can’t put it down: it is practical and helpful in so many ways. Thanks, Jerrie, for taking time to put this great information into print. You will now be able to bless more people than just those to whom you speak. Blessings, my friend.

— Travis D. Irwin