The first scriptural reference
to Shepherds or Elders is found in
"And the LORD came down in
a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit
that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy
gave Moses seventy men to assist him in caring for
the children of Israel. They functioned with an
anointing under his shepherding and thus could also
be called Under-Shepherds.
the New Testament the Greek word "Poimen"
shepherd, care for, feed or lead sheep."
is Gods care for His children by those He chooses.
clearly reveals in His word what his idea of Shepherding
As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that
he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will
I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of
all places where they have been scattered in the
cloudy and dark day.
And I will bring them out from the people, and gather
them from the countries, and will bring them to
their own land, and feed them upon the mountains
of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited
places of the country.
I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the
high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there
shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture
shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.
I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie
down, saith the Lord GOD.
I will seek that which was lost, and bring again
that which was driven away, and will bind up that
which was broken, and will strengthen that which
Church of Jesus Christ is made up of many members.
God has called
Shepherds to care for His sheep.
us consider four aspects of the Shepherd:
New Testament qualifications of the Shepherd.
These are described in 1 Timothy 3:1-7
A Shepherd should be:
Of good report
A husband of one wife
A vigilant person
A sober person
Of good behavior
Not a lover of money
One who rules his house well.
Shepherd should always be under authority.
As Shepherds we are to be in
subjection to those placed by the Lord Jesus over
us, and should always be open to correction and
discipline by them.
3. Shepherds should always be in unity with the other
1 Corinthians 1:10
"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name
of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the
same thing, and that there be no
divisions among you; but that
ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind
and in the same judgment."
need to be as one before the Lord in perfect unity.
They need at all times to share and be in unity
with the vision, guidance and the goals of the leadership.
Lots of independent visions cause division, and
lots of heads create a monster. Shepherds need to
be united in fellowship, prayer and fastings, meeting
the needs of the saints they shepherd. They should
not have self-elevation or personal
gain in mind as Shepherds.
need to be effective leaders.
Shepherds take upon themselves
the responsibility to care for a group of Christians
and are responsible for their spiritual growth,
protection and well-being. Christians come together
in groups known as cells. These cells are led by
Shepherds, who lead by word, action and example.
When leading a cell group they
need to ensure the spiritual growth of the members,
who must be taught and motivated to win others to
Christ. Each weekly Cell meeting must be well organized
and spiritually effective.
cell leaders commitment.
A cell leaders commitment will
include the following:
- To take the responsibility
of spiritually leading several members of a cell
- To do all cell activities in
- To carefully and prayerfully
- To lead the cell in growth
to twelve members.
- To then gracefully divide the
cell into two.
- To restart the process of building
each cell to twelve again.
Four things that are necessary for successful shepherding:
Shepherds need to walk worthy
of their Divine calling.
"I therefore, the prisoner
of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of
the vocation wherewith ye are called."
God takes the initiative to call
us to work for Him as Shepherds and He does this
by speaking to us in different ways. When He calls
us, we feel in our hearts the unction and the conviction
to work for Him. We then obediently take upon ourselves
the responsibility to be trained to be able to effectively
do His work.
We are totally committed to the
Our training will involve two
the Godly character that God requires of us for
trained to do the work He requires us to do.
"Study to shew thyself approved
unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth."
When it is evident to those in
leadership that someone is called of God and that
they have submitted to training and guidance, then
their calling may be confirmed. Only those confirmed
may be ordained to the ministry of Shepherding.
A Shepherd may be ordained for four
1. To acknowledge Gods choice and authorization of their
2. To give the candidate the place and opportunity of ministry.
3. To impart by the laying on of hands special gifting.
announce the time of the commencement of ministry.
ordination will have the following elements:
Leadership will recommend those confirmed for
should take place at a Church gathering.
should be charged to fulfill all their responsibilities.
Church Leadership should then lay hands on the
candidate, and give whatever words, exhortations
or prophecies the Lord has given, and impart whatever
graces, God would at that time bestow upon the
the Shepherd should be received as a servant of
God and be honored and supported by his Peers
and the Church.
new Shepherd should himself be subjected to pastoral
care and spiritual authority.
need to understand sheep
are eight aspects Shepherds need to consider about
need to be led to food and water.
storms, sheep need shelter.
need careful care and watching so as not to be
need quiet restful waters.
need green pastures to lie down and rest.
need anointing oil to sooth their head in the
- Sheep need dipping to protect
them from harmful insects.
- Sheep need the shepherd's
protection from wild animals.
to shepherd sheep:
and value them.
them to green pastures and refreshing water.
for them and not let one go lost.
them under all circumstances.
who are called to be Shepherds can be effective cell
leaders in a local church.
the concept of local church cells.
church cell is the New Testament form of church
life and to fully understand it, one needs to consider
how the cells of a human body function.
cells work in the human body.
human body is made up of cells and it grows when
the cells multiply.
process takes place in the following way:
healthy cell develops.
forms two poles that are identical.
divides into two parts.
two parts split and form two cells.
cells work the same way.
healthy church cell develops and grows to twelve
members. It then develops two parts that prepare
to divide. The division takes place, each having
six members. Both cells then continue with their
own growth process separately.
Biblical foundation for cells.
in the Old Testament.
effectively ministered to the needs of the Israelites,
by organizing them into small groups of ten.
thou shalt provide out of all the people able men,
such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness;
and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands,
and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers
smallest group of ten had a leader.
organized his people into smaller groups to be more
successful in rebuilding the gates and wall of Jerusalem.
used the same principle to organize his Kingdom
to function effectively. (1Kings 4)
When Jesus fed the five thousand,
He organized them into small groups.
And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies
upon the green grass.
And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by
And when he had taken the five loaves and the two
fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and
brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples
to set before them; and the two fishes divided he
among them all.
And they did all eat, and were filled.
When Jesus sent out his Disciples
He sent them out as a group of
seventy, a group of twelve and two by two.
these things the LORD appointed other seventy also,
and sent them two and two before his face into every
city and place, whither he himself would come."
twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying,
Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any
city of the Samaritans enter ye not:"
in the early church.
one hundred and twenty disciples cared for the three
thousand souls that were saved, by doing it from
house to house.
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the
temple, and breaking bread from house to house,
did eat their meat with gladness and singleness
Praising God, and having favour with all the people.
And the Lord added to the church daily such as should
a sixty-year period, the Church grew from one hundred
and twenty Christians to millions over the face
of the earth.
early church came together in house meetings.
Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ
Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto
you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly,
and from house to house.
in church history:
- During the early persecution of the Church
in Rome, Christians were forced to come together
and worship in small groups in the catacombs.
communism - During the reign of communism in
the former Soviet Union, Christians were forced
to have church in small groups, in their homes.
- To this very day in communist China, Christians
have to secretly come together in small groups to
Biblical vision for Cells.
vision to build the Church with new Cells made up
of Christians is Biblical.
is a typical example of cells today:
new spiritual cell in the church is activated with
a cell leader and five members. The cell leader
appoints a learner cell leader, a prayer
leader and a secretary. With an additional
two members, they form the core group that
will grow to twelve members, and then divide into
two groups of six and continue the process. Once
twelve cells have been birthed under the
ministry of the cell leader, they will form a section
and the cell leader is then promoted to a sectional
cell leader. Six of these sections will form
a district. (About 500 members) over which
the sectional leader will be promoted to Associate
services of the Church.
the members will come together for fellowship and
celebration on Sunday.
purpose of a cell.
groups provide a setting where there can be encouragement,
heart sharing, interaction and openness among cell
members. The cell looks inwardly to help every member
grow spiritually and outwardly to bring others to
functions of cell meetings.
members and visitors have been made to feel welcome,
they should feel comfortable and relaxed. This is
a good time for light refreshments to be served
and conversation to take place.
this it is time to move the focus away from people
towards the Lord. The prayer leader leads the members
prayer, the group may be led in worship. With good
taped background music, a musician or a strong voiced
leader, the members may worship the Lord.
is followed by the edification time, where the members
will share their testimonies and encourage each
this, the cell leader may give a lesson or show
a Christian video.
final part will be where the leader shares the vision
of the cell:
purpose and destiny.
of the exciting activities.
Information about the next weeks cell meeting.
members to invite someone to the next cell gathering.
leadership of a cell.
The leadership of a cell will consist
of the following:
A cell leader.
will care for the Christians in the cell.
will organize and lead the activities of the cell.
2. A learner cell leader.
The learner cell leader is an apprentice of the
cell leader and should be trained
by the cell leader.
the things that thou hast heard of me among many
witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men,
who shall be able to teach others also."
Apply what has been learned,
willing to be delegated,
Be willing to be corrected,
Be dedicated to become a co-worker.
A prayer leader.
prayer leader should lead and co-ordinate prayer
and fasting activities of the cell.
member should help with the administration of the
cell and maintain a Christian books, tapes and video
library, for members.
six phases of a cell before reproducing itself:
This is the phase where the members
get to know each other and feel comfortable with
This is the sand papering or
stones rubbing together phase where members get
to accept each other as they are.
Here members learn to understand
Sensitivities and differences.
In this phase members tend to
move toward each other in special fellowship and
bonding. It is important for the leader to guide
the members, allowing new members that come in,
to be included in this bonding process.
In this phase, members
experience growing spiritually and in ministry.
They begin to use their talents and discover and
enjoy their natural spiritual profiles.
seven profiles are mentioned by Paul.
6 Having then gifts differing
according to the grace that is given to us, whether
prophecy, let us prophesy according to the
proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us
wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on
8 Or he that exhorteth,
on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do
it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with
diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
seven profiles enable a person to be either:
A speaker (prophecy)
A helper (ministering)
An encourager (exhorting)
A giver (financing Gods program)
6. A leader
7. A comforter (A person
who dries away tears)
5. Mentoring phase.
In this phase, the leadership
of the cell is developed.
The next cell leader is developed,
by going through an apprenticeship. The prayer leader
and secretary are carefully and prayerfully guided
to work excellently for the Lord.
The other members prepare their
hearts to be used in leadership within the new cell.
In this phase, all the aspects
and tools of Evangelism are used to cause the cell
to grow and double in size.
things cell members should experience:
When people enter the cell group
it is necessary that they feel that they are part
of a spiritual family and only true fellowship can
achieve this. This will happen when members learn
to know more about each other and everyday things
of life. Cell members will get to share interests
like hobbies, picnics, eating out, sports or sitting
together at church. They will learn to value and
appreciate each others company.
It is necessary to express love, adoration and
praise to the Godhead, where members pour out their
inner affectionate devotion to Him. A cell leader
needs to plan the worship by selecting the music and
songs before the gathering and visualize the flow
of the worship. While leading the worship, the leader
needs to be sensitive to the guidance of the Holy
Celebrating the Lords Supper
could be a part of the worship from time to time.
Evangelism in the cell is
essential for the continual growth of the cell. Cell
members need to do evangelism training. There are three
important places to evangelize:
1. In our own circle of influence. (Family or friends)
fishing holes where one can fish for souls.
bridges to reach people for God.
can be done in the following five ways:
Inviting friends to the cell gatherings.
invited his friends to meet Jesus.
"And Levi made him a great
feast in his own house: and there
was a great company of publicans
and of others that sat
down with them."
There are an average of 20
persons within each persons area of influence.
Having end-time seminars about the Lord's coming.
Door knocking and doing neighborhood evangelism.
the sick at Hospitals.
A cell leader can co-ordinate
evangelism activities, where members can go out
as a group and evangelize.
We need to reach hurting people.
Those who are lonely, depressed, addicted and with
If members are not edified in
cell gatherings, then these gatherings will be fruitless.
Members will be edified when:
They feel the Lords presence.
Their burdens are lifted.
Their hurts are healed.
They enjoy true fellowship with
They feel safe and protected.
They learn Biblical principles.
They grow spiritually.
They experience working for the
Members need to be taught to
develop a daily prayer lifestyle. They need to organize
their prayer time. They need to pray over the food
they eat. They need to start and end their day in
prayer. They need to pray daily for their own spiritual
cleansing by the precious Blood of Jesus. They need
to be able to take their requests to God in prayer
when needed. They need to intercede for the salvation
of their loved ones and friends. They need to pray
for their brothers and sisters in the Lord. They
need to pray for the Church.
When a person becomes a cell
member they will discover that there are areas of
their life that need restoration. Emotional, mental
and physical hurts that need healing. It is important
to direct those who need restoration, to Jesus the
great Shepherd who restores our souls.
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I
shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in
green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth
me in the paths of righteousness for his name's
and cell members can always be helpful in the healing
of these wounds.
All leaders must successfully
exercise their leadership and not relinquish it
to members who have strong personalities. They must
duplicate themselves in new trainee cell leaders.
are nine key elements for effective spiritual leadership:
leader must faithfully serve God.
2. A leader must have
compassion for people and be friendly.
leader must be committed to studying Gods Word.
leader must practice the basic Christian principles.
leader must lead by example.
leader must be faithful.
leader must have a vision.
leader must be a hard worker.
leader must be submissive and teachable.
A leader cannot lead unless there
are people to lead. By understanding the task that
is at hand, a cell leader can direct and designate
ministry roles within the cell. Members can be involved
in ministry tasks. Responsibilities can be delegated.
A leader should exhibit confidence in the person
and clearly define the boundaries of their assignment
and authority and what his expectations are. The
resources like money, material and information need
to be available to successfully complete the task.
The leader needs to encourage and show appreciation
for all efforts and assignments completed.
- Benevolence. Cell
members need to experience and develop hospitality
and love for people.
This is evident in compassionate
things we may do like:
Giving food baskets to the needy.
Feeding the homeless.
Inviting folks over for dinner.
Taking a dinner to sick folks.
Doing benevolent tasks to help
the aged or physically impaired.
a cell for the first time.
are several things a cell leader needs to do when
starting a cell:
what day and what time to have the cell meeting.
where to have it.
a list of the people to be invited to the first meeting.
each of them individually.
what the activities are going to be.
and prayerfully setting out the program.
and preparing the details meticulously.
those invited to do something. (Pray, prepare some
sure to remind them the day before.
10. Make use of the Godly counsel of leadership.
vital aspects of a cell meeting:
must have a specific date, time and venue.
must be well advertised and start on time.
must be fluent and in the Spirit.
must be encouraged to participate.
is said must be well prepared.
must not be long and boring.
of members should be identified.
of members should be used.
of members should be identified.
10. Members should be encouraged to attend church.
at cell meetings.
hindrances during cell meetings need to be dealt
TV or Stereo sounds.
in the cell.
should be allowed to participate in the cell meetings
unless there is a special teenage cell that has been
arranged for them.
in the cell.
should be made for the children to be ministered to.
Special children's lessons are available for this purpose
and a different member should be selected to minister
are several forms that can be used to simplify and
organize cell activities and are attached, namely:
- A cell group covenant.
- A guest list.
- An invitation.
- An attendance record.
- A cell group planning sheet.
completing the Shepherd questionnaire, consider
real test of a Shepherd is fourfold.
- Equip yourself - study this
- Complete the questionnaire.
- Do the actual work of a Shepherd
- The ultimate test is to receive recognition one day in heaven from
Jesus Christ the Great Shepherd.