Why NewSpring Church has transitioned to a focus on shepherding

God’s Word has a lot to say about being a shepherd. God reveals Himself as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18), and He uses shepherds all throughout Scripture to accomplish His will. 

As a church leader, God has called you to shepherd His flock.

But, what does that mean? In 21st Century Western Christianity, the idea and practice of being a shepherd is lost on many people. Nonetheless, the call to shepherd remains. 

Brad Cooper, Pastor of Direction and Culture for NewSpring Church, has been wrestling with what it means to be a shepherd of God’s flock for a while now. NewSpring Church has experienced many seasons of massive growth over the years. Through these seasons, the need to develop leaders was abundantly apparent, so the NewSpring Staff focused heavily on it. The topic of leadership was talked about frequently, studied intently, and emphasized heavily. Staff members attended conferences, listened to podcasts, and learned from some of the world’s best leaders in an effort to increase their leadership capacities. 


Listen to Episode 06 of The Ship Podcast today


As a result, people learned how to better lead those under their care. People learned the importance of integrity, and how being a great leader is about being a great servant. However, as Brad describes, the Leadership Team at NewSpring felt a disconnect. They knew leadership was a spiritual gift and vital part of every church body but felt they had placed an unhealthy focus on the area. They began to ask the questions, “Is this focus on leadership of paramount importance? What has God ordained leadership in His Church to look like? Are we getting this right?”

After much prayer and searching the Scriptures, Brad and the Leadership Team at NewSpring Church came to the conclusion, while leadership is critical, it is not paramount. 

“There is a higher calling than leadership in church world. The shepherd is the highest calling in the church ministry world.” - Brad Cooper

From this conviction, the Leadership Team at NewSpring began to dive into what it meant to be a shepherd of God’s flock after His Own heart. 

INJOY Stewardship had the opportunity to sit down with Brad Cooper on The Ship Podcast to discuss what it means to be a faithful shepherd of God’s flock. 

In this podcast interview, Brad details his personal journey into what it means to be a shepherd in light of God’s character (14:00), qualities about the life of a shepherd that are applicable to how we shepherd people in our churches (20:00), how NewSpring Church shepherds their large congregation effectively (28:00), and more.

Don’t miss this incredible insight! You can listen to the interview by clicking the button below.