I have been preparing to lead a conference using the book, Shepherd: Creating Caring Community, by David Francis, Ken Braddy, and Ken Coley. Each of the authors has made me think about shepherding the people in our classes in unique ways. David deals with system, Ken B. deals with sequence, and Ken C. deals with science (research).
In David’s conclusion, one of the three things David is convinced about is the following:
The optimal spiritual gift for a small group leader or Sunday School teacher is the Ephesians 4 gift of teaching shepherd. I am convinced of it.page 59, Shepherd: Creating Caring Community, by David Francis, Ken Braddy, and Ken Coley
Optimal Spiritual Gift
Can someone with another spiritual gift serve as teacher? There is no doubt, but pastor teacher or teaching shepherd is the optimal one. Can one of the two sides of the gift (teaching and shepherding) be stronger than the other? That is also true.
David is clear that all three authors are strong at teaching and have to learn more and work harder at shepherding. On the other hand, some teaching shepherds are more natural at shepherding and teaching requires more learning and effort. Shepherding will naturally result in teaching, but teaching without shepherding will often be shallow.
I encourage you to think about your role as teaching shepherd. Take the time to read this book (free PDF link is above). Seriously attempt to answer the reflective questions on page 61. Evaluate your efforts. Chart your next steps toward giving God and His sheep your best effort as teaching shepherd. May lives be change, beginning with yours. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!