New Shepherds Orientation Workshop # 24, Pacific Church of Christ, Pacific, Missouri

Three couples were recognized Sunday morning for completing New Shepherds Orientation Workshop. Steve and Anna Hurst, Jimmy and Tracy Smith, Tracy and Leslie Ring participated in the leadership training.

The way we came up with the people in this workshop was to announce it for several weeks. I encouraged everyone who had an interest in participating to let me know. This wasn’t a commitment to serve as an elder. It was an interest in learning more about what leaders do and how to be more effective. These three couples were the ones who were interested and wanted to be in the classes.

Pacific Church of Christ hasn’t had elders for several years. We’ve discussed and encouraged the development of elders and deacons since I’ve been here. They have this as their goal for the future. I led a leadership training class for all men, teens, and older men. In the sessions, we discussed: leadership prayers from the Bible, leadership projects, and leadership principles. The group was divided into two “elderships” to discuss common issues elders face and suggest a solution to the problems given.

In New Shepherds Orientation Workshop, these are some of the topics we discuss and practice:

  • What guidelines will help us have a better discussion and workshop?
  • How can elders shepherd each other?
  • How will we grow together as a group?
  • How will we handle criticism?
  • What is a good plan to ensure we care for all the sheep?
  • How can we deal with deacons and encourage them?
  • How will we develop as overseers as well as shepherds?
  • How will we oversee each other?
  • What can we do to keep important things from falling through the cracks?
  • Will we function as deacons and be called elders?
  • How can we prevent the development of a toxic “head elder”?
  • What is one thing we can do to prevent conflict and promote peace?
  • How will we evaluate deacons, ministers, and each other?
  • What are some ways we can have good communication with the congregation?
  • What kinds of meetings should we have to lead this church best?
  • Who should select additional leaders in this congregation?
  • What is a good way to facilitate the selection?

In preparation for the class, each person read these three books:

  1. Creating Biblical Leaders by God’s Design, by Ken Wilson
  2. The Way of the Shepherd, by Kevin Leman and William Pentak
  3. Fleecy Clouds: One Woman’s Story of Surviving and Thriving after Childhood Abuse, by Gail Champion Barber

Rather than doing the workshop on a Friday night-Saturday weekend, we decided to meet on selected weeknights at someone’s home. We had a meal together, prepared by the host, then two hours of the workshop.

These Christians worked hard and actively participated in the entire learning experience.

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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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