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 © 2004 by Kevin Leman and William Pentak; Zondervan, Grand Rapids

ePub Edition January 2009 ISBN: 978-0-310-54312-1

This is a fable about a graduating MBA asking advice from his major professor as he takes his first job managing people who are older than him.

Here are the “mustard seeds” I highlighted:


Know the Condition of Your Flock

Follow the status of your people as well as the status of the work.

Get to know your flock, one sheep at a time.

Engage your people on a regular basis.

Keep your eyes and ears open, question, and follow through (page 28, Kindle Edition).

The sheep didn’t have a shepherd who was willing to pay the price to be who he was supposed to be. So the sheep ended up paying for his poor leadership. That’s what I’m talking about. Someone has to pay; it’s just a matter of who will pay. The thing is it’s not the sheep who get to decide. That decision is made by the one who tends the flock (page 100, Kindle Edition).

What makes a shepherd a shepherd isn’t the staff or the rod; it’s the heart. What distinguishes a great leader from a mediocre one is that a great leader has a heart for his people (page 101, Kindle Edition).

For more practical ideas on:

  • Preacher search.
  • Questions to ask preachers.
  • Questions to ask elders.
  • Working agreements — written or unwritten?
  • What are your rules?
  • Church checking preacher references.
  • Preacher checking church references.

Get Jerrie’s book: Between Preachers

There’s an important principle here. The ultimate test of leadership isn’t setting a direction for your flock. The ultimate test is this: can you get your flock where you want it to go? (page 106, Kindle Edition).

The quality of your return is based on the quality of your investment. If you want your people to return loyalty and trust to you, you first have to invest your loyalty and trust in them. That’s why it’s called a return. If you give your people halfhearted leadership, you’ll get a halfhearted following. But if you invest yourself in them, if you have a heart for them, your people will return your investment with a heartfelt following (page 106, Kindle Edition).

This is a business book. It is a long parable about how Jesus’ principles of leadership are effective.

This is one of two books I ask every elder and preacher to read to prepare for the New Shepherds Orientation Workshop.

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Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, father to Jerrie Wayne Barber, II and Christi Parsons, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

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