Shepherd of Souls: Faith Formation through Trusted Relationships by David W. Anderson (2018)
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The shepherd of souls ministry represents the deeply meaningful, personal, and communal life of befriending brothers and sisters in the Christian faith. It serves the work of discipleship formed through personal, trusted relationships. The world needs—and the church needs—for that ministry to happen with increased intentionality and consistency. For it to bless the lives of Christians and non-Christians alike, it will break out of sanctuaries, board meetings, fellowship halls, and Christian education classrooms and enter into homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, and the larger world waiting to hear and experience the reconciling love of God in Christ. Then the ministry of the congregation and the ministry of the home have faithfully worked, played, and danced together for the care of souls to the glory of God and the needs of one’s neighbor.
The shepherd of souls ministry is based on thirty years of developing what we call the Milestones Ministry Frame. Shepherding souls utilizes the Five Principles: 1) Faith formed and nurtured through trusted relationships; 2) Equipping shepherd through the ministry of the congregational church; 3) serving others through the ministry of the home; 4) Understanding and developing faith formation through experiences and relationships, not just by understanding concepts; and, 5) affirming that shepherding souls is a cross+generational ministry where adults support children and youth and children and youth support adults of all ages.
Shepherding also requires a clear, simple, and doable faith practices. That leads us to the Four Key Faith Practices of caring conversations, devotions, service, and rituals and traditions. Chapter after chapter the book explores how these essential faith practices facilitate the valued ministry of shepherding souls.
And, finally, a shepherd embodies the Three Characteristics of a Christian, someone who is
- Authentic: not perfect, just real, honest and open to others
- Available: essential to a shepherd by not being “missing in action” when loving action is needed
- Affirming: confident that God’s will and work of love wins to encourage and bless lives day in and day out.
Available in paperback and as a download (available soon). See Table of Contents below.