The Shepherd's Role and Responsibilities
CCY utilizes the term Shepherd to conform the biblical Greek word episkopos found in Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus. The role of the Shepherd is defined by Scripture to protect the church and provide spiritual nurture. This role is accomplished primarily in the faithful ministry of the Word and leading by example; however, further explanation of the role includes the variety of ways detailed below.
1. Managing the Local Church of God - (1 Timothy 3, 1 Timothy 5:7, Titus 1:7-9, Acts 6:2-3)
Shepherds oversee the life of the church together with the staff and ministry leaders. Together they maintain order and preserve useful ministries of the church. The Shepherd must be able to lead well.
2. Called as a Scriptural Role Model - (1 Peter 5:2-3, 1 Timothy 4:12-16)
The Shepherd is called as a scriptural role model and sets before the congregation an example of rightly ordered life with God glorified as their primary purpose. They are eager to serve by engaging in activities and ministries within the church which promote the mission of making fully devoted followers of Christ. Their actions should be apparent in their personal walk and in their influence over the walk of others.
3. Praying - (Acts 6:2-4, James 5:14-15)
Shepherds are to pray for the spiritual and physical well-being of the members of the congregation.
4. Remaining Vigilant (Fighting the Good Fight of the Faith)
- Doctrinal Error - (Acts 20:29-31, 1 Timothy 4:1-6; 6:2c-5, 2 Timothy 2:14-3:9, Titus 1:9)
Shepherds are to confront those who are teaching what they should not teach, refuting those who contradict truth or who are continuing in a pattern of behavior contradictory to biblical truth. Thus, Shepherds are to close potential entrances for Satan, so that the truth of Christ will remain credible to both the congregation and the community.
- Divisiveness - (Ephesians 4:3, 1 Corinthians 1:10)
Shepherds are to promote unity of the church and are to protect the church by interceding in and presiding over issues that could serve to cause disharmony or division within its body of believers. They shall help to reconcile issues and facilitate resolutions to concerns handed over for their corporate care, consideration, and arbitration.
- Discipline - (Matthew 18:15-22, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13)
Shepherds shall determine and enforce corporate discipline, as mandated and/or supported by Scripture, for the protection of the church and for the personal benefit of those within its body.
5. Supporting the Pastoral Staff and Ministry Leaders - (1 Timothy 3:1-16, Titus 1:5-9)
- Shepherds are to exhort the Lead Pastor, staff, and ministry leaders of the church, which includes providing encouragement, comfort, persuasion, counseling, teaching and accountability.
6. Shepherding the Flock - (1 Timothy 3; 4:13; 5:1-21, 2 Timothy 4:2, Titus 1:9; 2:1-10)
- Serving in all humility, Shepherds are to guide, direct, guard and protect the members of the body, seeking to meet their spiritual needs-preaching the Word, warning against harmful influences, and guarding against false teaching.
Being shepherds of God's flock means understanding that Christ is the Good and Chief Shepherd (John 10; 1 Peter 5:2-4). CCY believes the truth we are all one flock under the supreme care of Christ himself; therefore, Shepherds work in conjunction with the staff and ministry leaders and not alone to care for the entire flock. Please do not feel you must contact a specific shepherd if you are in need. Although you may contact every Shepherd, a staff member or ministry leader can also assist you. CCY encourages you to connect with those around you to share and live life together. Christian brothers and sisters are called to care for each other (1 John 3:16-18); therefore, we must all care and provide for each other.