Shepherding Is Never Outdated
This article appears in this month's edition of Tabletalk magazine.
The consistent biblical metaphor for caring for the local church is shepherding. Yet some believe this approach is outdated.
In the West, we are not the agrarian society we once were. In 1900, half of those in the labor force in the United States were farmers, but by the end of the twentieth century, urbanization meant that only 2 percent were. The church was affected, moving from being community based to interest driven. Today, the largest 10 percent of congregations contain about half of all churchgoers. In some congregations, a hierarchical business model has replaced the shepherding structure. Leaders are taught through books and conferences to direct the church more like CEOs than shepherds.