Listen carefully to the metaphors people use in regards to ministry. They can tell you a lot about a person’s style of leadership, belief about Church structure, evangelism, etc. They seem innocuous enough, but they speak volumes in many ways.

I have been involved in some interesting discussions recently and a certain question has been bantered about.

“Are you a shepherd or a rancher?”

This is a question that many of us have been struggling with.

What does that mean? We can go in a lot of different directions. But what we come up with I believe has many implications for what kind of leader we are and want to be, and what we believe about ministry and the congregation.

Dictionary Definitions:

Shepherding: To herd, guard, tend, or guide as or in the manner of a shepherd.

Ranching: To manage or work on a ranch.

I can tease this out more, but I’m going to be posting more extensively on this issue.

But let me ask you a few questions:

  1. What are your initial thoughts, observations on that question?
  2. Do you see yourself as a rancher or shepherd?
  3. Is one preferable over the other? Why or why not?

I will then pick up on this issue later in the week.