An M3 Weekly Book Review
Many excellent resources are available to give wisdom and guidance to missional enterprise leaders who want to grow in their understanding and practice of biblical leadership. We’ve reviewed many such resources in previous M3 Weekly articles. However, you are unlikely to find a book on biblical leadership with as unique a combination of biblical and cultural insight in a devotional presentation as While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks: Forty Daily Reflections on Biblical Leadership by Dr. Timothy Laniak.
Structured as a daily devotional, While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks explores the key metaphor for leadership in the scriptures: the shepherd-leader. Dr. Laniak was a Professor of Biblical Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for over 25 years1 and gained unique insight into the biblical references to shepherds when he spent a year with his family in the Middle East, studying the lives of the Bedouin shepherds in the region.
He combines these first-hand cultural insights on pastoral culture with an exposition of biblical passages about shepherding to communicate profound truths about God’s calling upon shepherd-leaders.
The book is a forty-day devotional, divided into three sections that explore three primary biblical roles of a shepherd: Provider, Protector, and Guide. Familiar biblical passages about streams, pastures, wolves, and gates come to life with fresh and profound insights in each day’s reading. Each devotion concludes with invitations to meditate, reflect, and apply the truths to life and leadership.
While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks is available in Kindle form from Amazon. The book is out of print, but if you prefer a paper copy you can find used versions from many vendors. It is a unique book on biblical leadership, structured in bite-sized chunks for the busy leader, and appealing both to the head and heart of Christ-followers in leadership. We highly recommend it.2
Verse of the Week:
Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:15 (NIV)
Let’s commit this week to grow as shepherds after God’s heart, and seek practical ways to grow in our understanding of what that means.