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Top Characteristics of a Good Shepherd

Sacrificial actions

Most importantly, the good shepherd loves his sheep and sacrifices. As John 10:11 puts it, “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Christ demonstrated His love for us by dying for us while we were still sinners. The church senses that the good shepherd genuinely cares for them and puts their interest ahead of his own. They observe him sacrificing time, money and energy for them. They see that he is there to weep with them when they weep and rejoice with them when they rejoice. They know he cares.

One of the keys to successful capital campaigns is for church leaders to make advance commitments and for that total to be revealed to the congregation. Time and again church members will say, “When I saw what the elders did, I was inspired and knew this was for real.”

Practical application   

There is very little practical training for elders today. A good pastor is often thrust into a difficult assignment and expected to instinctively know how to lead. A brief formula for being a good pastor or elder is to say to the flock, “Follow me as I follow Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:11). Then, “when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 5:4).