Original Research - Special Collection: Applied subjects - Practical Theology and Science of Religion

Leadership for the church: The shepherd model

K. Thomas Resane
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 1 | a2045 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2045 | © 2014 K. Thomas Resane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 August 2013 | Published: 30 May 2014

About the author(s)

K. Thomas Resane, Department of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics, University of Pretoria, South Africa


The scope of this article is to expand the shepherd model of leadership functions as portrayed by the shepherd metaphor. The identification and the biblical usage of the shepherd and the sheep is explored, with special focus on the role of the shepherd. This role is identified as that of caring, courage, and guidance. The caring function includes activities such as restoration, feeding, watering, grooming, shearing, delivering lambs, leading, and protection. The function of courage focuses on activities of assuming responsibility, serving and participating in change. The function of guidance gives a special highlight on hodegos [leader or guide] – to lead or to guide in regard to a decision or future course of action. This is where the leadership training is based. The conclusion is the call for leaders in the ecclesiastical community to pursue the shepherd-leader model for the advance and the effectiveness of the mission Dei [mission of God] in the world.


Ecclesiastical leadership; shepherd; shepherd-leader; sheep; pastoral care’ courage; guidance


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