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In order to help pastors and other Christian leaders to lovingly lead God’s flock to Jesus Christ and into God’s mission, Scott Thomas and Tom Wood clarify a process of coaching and shepherding that is rooted in the patterns of the Good Shepherd himself, a process in which leaders stir up the gifts, passion, and calling upon others’ lives. This book addresses the needs of the leader, his or her sinful tendencies, and church leadership issues. It directs the leader to the person and work of Jesus. It provides a system to intentionally shepherd leaders to glorify God in their personal, spiritual, and missional lives. Many ministry leaders serving in churches find themselves overwhelmed, disillusioned, and depressed by the enormous and challenging task of leading and ministering in a congregation. As a result, the ministry suffers, the leaders suffer, and the result is often an unhealthy church existent with little or no Gospel influence. These leaders need someone to shepherd their soul so that they can lead others to the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We suggest that coaching for the church leader looks less like corporate consulting or humanistic psychology and more like biblical-shepherding. We suggest that every church leader needs a Gospel Coach to come alongside with words of truth, wisdom and experience to encourage, admonish, comfort and help—words drawn from Scripture and godly wisdom, grounded in the gracious saving work of Jesus Christ, and presented in the context of a trusting relationship. Gospel Coaching is an intentional relationship to skillfully care for others with four ancient shepherding principles: 1) Know the sheep, 2) Feed the sheep, 3) Lead the sheep, and 4) Protect the sheep. A Gospel Coach both inquires about the personal, spiritual, and missional aspects of a ministry leader’s life in a loving yet focused manner, and also probes the church leader for compulsive unbelief or selfish motivation, or disobedience and sin, and leads the ministry leader back to the Gospel, through belief, repentance and obedience. Churches that desire to be rich in a Gospel application toward their city, their relationships with one another, their communication and worship, as well as their service, will benefit to a greater degree by having their leaders being coached by a Gospel-centered leader.

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