Written by Ps Zheng Haoren
“So I exhort the elders… 2shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight… 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears…” 1 Peter 5:1-4.
Jesus Christ is the Chief Shepherd. Pastors and Elders are under-shepherds. It has been said that we do not need dictators and arguments in difficult times. Instead we need leaders who will show us what to do by the example of their lives, for one example is worth a thousand arguments.
Difficult times have besieged people everywhere during this Covid-19 season. A pastor friend serving a frontier people group wrote, “… (it is) surprising that over 1,300 people had (committed) suicide during the lockdown in — It shows how much Covid-19 has affected the lives of people in —, including Churches. We have faced some indication in our Church… It is very tough to shepherd immature believers and leaders in such crises especially in an undeveloped country…”
Yes, it is tough to shepherd Christ’s sheep, especially in difficult times. Under-shepherds do so as one under the care of the Chief Shepherd. It is therefore necessary to set an example in gospel-dependency – being quick to recognise personal brokenness and being quick to run to Christ. It is also needful to oversee the flock with character and with willingness (cf. 1 Peter 5:2-3).
Covid-19 has indeed exposed the weaknesses of shepherding large congregations in our traditional church structure. We recognise the need to re-structure so as to enable responsible shepherding. Hence, in tandem with the vision for The Next Lap, we are forming Shepherding Teams. Each will comprise a Pastor and two Elders, supported by BOD members and ministry staff.
The main tasks of these teams will be to: (a) Nurture a flourishing Congregational Life, through knowing the members, looking out for individuals needing care, encouraging members to know and to relate with each other; (b) Disciple ZB members via families and AGs – utilizing Church ministries as supporting resources, e.g. Leaders Preparation, Children Discipleship, Youth Discipleship, Missions Education, etc.; and (c) Represent the needs and concerns of the smaller congregations to the Church; and vice-versa. Beloved, please join me in praying for the Shepherding Teams.
 Frontier People Groups (FPGs) are Unreached People Groups with 0.1% or fewer Christians, and no evidence of a self-sustaining Gospel movement. There are about 5,045 Frontier People Groups with a total population of 1.94 billion. One fourth of the world are FPGs and have almost no chance of hearing about Jesus from someone in their own people group.