Shepherding at WRPC

We are striving to put into practice this very model at Woodruff Road. Each communing member of WRPC has been placed in a shepherding group under an elder's care. These shepherding groups meet each Sunday at 11:10 AM for prayer, study, fellowship and encouragement. They also meet at other times for fun and fellowship and ….eating. We have also implemented the practice of annual elder shepherding visits; the elder will call each family in his group and pick a time that's convenient for the family. Then he'll come to the home and spend an evening praying with & for each family, talking to them about their growth in grace,.discussing their struggles in the Christian Life and generally seeking to encourage each member of the family in their faith. The elder's desire is not to be the "spiritual police" or to just be nosy…but to give mature, godly oversight.

But our vision for shepherding the flock is not a once a year thing- each of our elders are very accessible (they're all on e-mail and cellphones) and want to be the first line of spiritual care. We encourage our members: If you have a physical or familial or prayer or spiritual need- don't hesitate, call your shepherding elder. We are committed to caring for the flock the Lord has given us and seeking to obey our clear mandate: "Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock" (1 Peter 5:2-3).

This model is also "constitutional". Our Book of Church Order states (in 8.3): "It belongs to the office of elder…to watch diligently over the flock committed to their charge, that no corruption of doctrine or of morals enter therein….they should visit the people at their homes….they should instruct the ignorant, comfort the mourner, nourish and guard the children of the church…they should pray with and for the people, being careful and diligent in seeking the fruit of the preached Word among the flock." (cf. 12:5).

Most importantly - this practice is "apostolic". Look at how often this practice is modeled and mandated:

  • Acts 20:28-31
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8
  • Hebrews 13:17