Shepherding Plan

“The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want.”  Psalm 23 reminds us: the wholeness and fullness we long for comes from Christ ruling and guiding us. Because Jesus is the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11), even our deepest wants and needs are met through him. We get to belong to him, be loved by him, provided for and led by him! Sometimes though, the pathway is difficult, and, as sheep, we all have a tendency to wander. Thankfully, Jesus says, No one is able to snatch them out of my hand (John 10:28-29).

How does Jesus hold on to and guide his sheep? One of the means he uses is under-shepherds. Think of the way Jesus tells Peter, “Feed my sheep” (John 22:17), the way Paul reminds the Ephesians elders “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers” (Acts 20:28), or Peter’s exhortation to elders, “shepherd the flock of God that is among you” (1 Peter 5:2). At Crossgate, we believe this is a major part of the role of the Session (pastors and ruling elders), serving as shepherds to guide God’s people to follow Christ, the “Chief-Shepherd.”

How will our spiritual shepherds at Crossgate help us follow Jesus? All of the activities of the church from our worship services and Bible teaching to our community groups and fellowship times are designed to serve this goal. As we all know though, it takes more than participating in programs to grow in Christ. And shepherds don’t just count the number of sheep in the field! They know them each individually, feed them, lead them, and protect them. Each of us needs spiritual guides who pray for us, reach out to us, and spend time with us. That’s why at Crossgate, your pastors and elders do not intend to just leave you on your own to hopefully grow, we want to come alongside you regularly and intentionally and we are putting in place a specific shepherding plan.

What will this shepherding plan involve? While there are many sides to the Session’s oversight and care for you, this shepherding plan at Crossgate involves each member of the Session having certain individuals to specifically care for and follow up with. Three simple aspects of care from the Session are primary:

  1. Praying Weekly (bringing requests for your spiritual growth and specific needs to God )
  2. Contacting Bi-Monthly (checking-in every other month by phone call, text, or email)
  3. Visiting Yearly (whether having you over or coming by – taking time for in-person spiritual guidance)


You can think of it this way: we are always concerned for you, regularly checking-in with you, and intentionally setting aside time with you. That doesn’t mean you have to wait for us to contact you to express any need. We also want to be available to respond to your needs and questions. Overall we want you to be able to expect that we are here for you, representing Christ’s care for you as spiritual shepherds, intentionally guiding and pointing you to Jesus.

Who will be included in this care? We are always concerned for the whole of the Crossgate community: members, non-members, visitors, and friends of the church; however, only members have officially placed themselves under the spiritual oversight of the Session. As we are able, we would be glad to extend specific shepherding care to our regularly attending non-members, by their request. Belonging to Jesus means being one of his sheep, and so it is good to aim to be under the spiritual care of Christ’s church.

How should I respond to this shepherding? Remember Jesus loves you, and your shepherding elder wants to be an agent of expressing his love. All of us tend to put on our best face or hide from certain questions, but, obviously, there is no benefit in trying to hide from Christ. And we hope that you will also be open with us, both about what is good in your life and about what isn’t. As the book of Hebrews says, “They are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account, let them do this with joy and not groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you”(Hebrews 13:17). Our goal, more than finding what’s wrong, is to encourage you in what’s right. We want to help you grow closer to Christ and live for him.

What types of questions will I be asked? While a lot of the conversation will be about what’s going on in your life and how it is affecting you, our Core Values at Crossgate also provide a helpful spiritual focus. For example: Has your engagement in Worship lately felt more vibrant or bland? Why do you think that is? What role has Scripture played in your life lately? What about it is difficult for you and what might be helpful? How are you involved in Community at Crossgate? Where have you felt more connected or disconnected? In what ways are you taking up Service within Crossgate or outside of it? Is there something you would like to be able to do more? Since Christ has a Mission for all of us, what opportunities do you think God has placed in your life with non-Christians? How would you like God to use you? Well, sometimes you won’t know how to answer. That’s fine. These questions aim to open up the topic. We want to come alongside you and build you up in Christ (Acts 20:32).

We hope this shepherding plan encourages you and helps us all. Please pray for us as we pray for you.

In Christ,

The Crossgate Session
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 13:20-21

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