I wrote this out for my church this past week. This is nothing profound but simply one man’s method of his approach to personal shepherding.
Personal Shepherding Goals and Guidelines for Pastor Huffstutler
With my dissertation now out of the way, I can give myself to you all the more. In doing so, I thought it would be helpful to communicate my personal goals and guidelines for meeting with the folks of our church on a more regular and personal basis. In a nutshell, I plan to meet with the men regularly, families occasionally, and women as necessary.
Regular Meetings with Men
I enjoy regularly meeting with the men of our church in groups, and I am glad to meet with you individually as well. These times allow me to encourage you in your spiritual growth and even go through a specific Bible study together. By meeting with the men in our church, my goal is to reproduce my ministry by encouraging you as men to become godly examples and leaders within our church.
Occasional Visits with Families
I often think of our church in terms of our families, whether the family is a single person, a married couple, or a parent or parents with children. We have twenty-two “family units” in our church, and my goal is to meet with every family at least once every three months. I enjoy the opportunity to talk with folks in their home if possible, and I am also glad to invite folks over to our home as well. If I have met with the head of a family, I typically consider it as having met with the family as a whole even though I have not necessarily met with every single person.
Necessary Meetings with Women
Maintaining a testimony of purity requires me to have certain guidelines when it comes to meeting with women. I am glad to counsel my Christian sisters as necessary, but unless her age would allow her to be my mother or grandmother, I will not meet with her alone. I can meet with women in my office as long as there is someone else present in the church building. If the issue requires long-term counseling or could be better counseled by a woman, I will encourage you to meet with my wife or another godly lady in our church who would offer solid, biblical counsel.
Why Do You Do This?
I do not operate according to the phrase, “My door is always open to you.” When I hear this, I really hear, “See me when you really need something. Otherwise, I am going to be doing something else.” My walking through the door of your home or your walking through the door of my office or home should simply be a confirmation of the relationship that we have already have as brothers and sisters in the household of God. I will be there in times of trouble, but from my experience, I am for more able to shepherd when I meet with the flock on a regular and personal basis.