Cordova Community Church, Cordova, TN (1998)
This material was presented in the form of 30 minutes of teaching followed by 30 minutes of discussion within small groups.
The new church plant was moving toward appointing their first shepherds. We probably moved too quickly as I think about it now, but this is the material we studied together. As with anything over ten years old, I would probably phrase things differently, emphasize different things, import some ideas that have become more significant to me (e.g., missional, eschatology, etc.), and rethink the way I handled gender in this series (e.g., I would definitely add Romans 16 into this discussion mix [some of that material is available in the series Women Serving God]and offer more alternatives for understanding 1 Timothy 2 [also available in that series). Nevertheless, it was a healthy study at the time and, for the most part, still is. Anyone who makes use of this, of course, will have to make their own judgments about what is helpful now and what is not…as even I would today.
The series had a theological and christocentric starting point. Shepherds should shepherd as God shepherds; they should imitate the Good Shepherd in his humility, service and loving care. It moved through some of the classic texts on elders and ultimately ended discussing the relationship of evangelists (“located preachers”) and elders.
Below is a list of the lessons:
- Our Model: The Humiliation of God (Philippians 2:1-11).
- The Divine Shepherd (Psalm 23)
- God and His Shepherds (Ezekiel 34:1-22)
- Jesus as the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-18)
- Servant Leadership (Mark 10:32-45)
- Jesus and His Shepherds (1 Peter 5:1-4)
- Priorities in Leadership (Acts 6:1-7)
- Giving Elders Perspective (Acts 20:25-35)
- Gender and Leadership (1 Timothy 2:1-2, 8-15)
- Respecting Leaders (1 Thessalonians 5:12-15)
- Qualities of Leadership I (1 Timothy 3:1-7)
- Following Leaders (Hebrews 13:7-8, 17, 24)
- Qualities of Leadership II (Titus 1:5-9)
- Elders as Caregivers (James 5:13-20)
- Leaders as Equippers (Ephesians 4:7-16)
- Evangelists (1 Timothy 4:6-16)
- Elders and Evangelists (1 Timothy 5:17-22)