This month: We Are Shepherds
Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Matt Dabbs

Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

Homepage: http://mattdabbs.com

The church has taken a lot of heat lately. In our world of deconstructive tendencies we have learned it is far easier to pick people and things apart than it is to build people and things up. Certainly some things need to be critiqued and improved. There is no doubt about that. But often we don’t take the time to look at things from a positive perspective. It is…

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There are a lot of Christian leaders who experience extreme insecurity. Two ways you will notice it is that they either tend to downplay themselves or overplay themselves. They will either take themselves out of the picture as much as possible or they will make themselves the center of attention as much as possible. Both of those actions can come from insecurity. One is trying to make sure they…

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One of the primary metaphors for a spiritual leaders in the Bible is a shepherd. In the Old Testament, even the highest executive office in the land (the king) is supposed to shepherd the people (2 Sam 5:2). Shepherds don’t lead by proxy (through others – a hired hand). Shepherds don’t lead from far out front. Shepherds lead the sheep by being with the sheep and knowing the sheep.

For…

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Imagine being a mechanic where someone brings you their car because it is having problems. You identify several issues and bring them to the owner’s attention, offering to repair it. They don’t give you permission to fix it but they hold you responsible for when the car breaks down the following week, sending you the bill for the repairs they need done.

Or think about being a doctor. A patient…

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We have a leadership crisis in Christianity today. I don’t want to get too specific in this theme introducing post but instead will open it up for discussion. Do you believe we have a leadership crisis? How does our autonomy help or hurt this? How do our leadership structures help or hinder leadership development that isn’t hitched to corporate business mentality? What resources have you found helpful on helping…

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“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” – Galatians 5:1

Let’s start a conversation this Independence day. It is a conversation about our freedom in Christ and exactly what that means for a Christian. There are so many things in this world that can enslave us. If we aren’t careful we can even do things to keep each other bound up. What does it mean to be…

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Listening is a discipline. It isn’t a skill that comes naturally to many of us. Talking is much easier and often much less thoughtful.

Listening is a discipline. Listening takes security. It is difficult for an insecure person to be a good listener because an insecure person is always testing the waters of how others see them and this isn’t easy to gauge as a listener as much as it…

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James makes a connection in James 1:19 that I have not only missed in the text but failed to notice in my own life. Here is what James wrote,

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

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The Bible is full of reminders on the importance of listening to God but how often do we intentionally do so? There are many stories in the Bible where the people failed in their plans because their plans were not initiated by listening to and for God. This happened in Joshua 7 when they entered the promised land and first took Jericho with no problem but second tackled Ai…

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Paul was much more ecumenical than I was growing up. The more I read Paul the more divisive I became, not because of what Paul wrote but because of how I read Paul. I read Paul looking for the rules, not that they aren’t there but that I found what I was looking for even when it wasn’t there. I read Paul looking for the marks the true believer…

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