Church Life
Scott DeGroff

Everybody Love a Shepherd Challenge

During this past Christmas season, our brother Scott DeGroff issued a challenge on Facebook called “Everybody love a Shepherd of God’s People Week”.  It was very encouraging to see the Lord work through his efforts and nice to see Scott continuing in ministry as he continues to struggle with health issues which prevent him from preaching at this time.  Scott kindly offered it to assemblyHUB to use so we are posting his challenge in 5 parts, each day this week.

The Challenge

I know many shepherds around North America that are hurting, watching sheep the Lord has entrusted to them struggle, fall, suffer horrible consequences – these shepherds bear many burdens they often can’t talk to people about, so I have three thoughts to put out for your consideration.

1. Love and encourage

Let’s pray today about how we can love and encourage a shepherd this week.  A”shepherd” is any man or woman that looks after God’s people selflessly. Let’s obey immediately what the Lord gives us to do (maybe as simple as a hug or a thank you, maybe buy them a hot tub, send them to a conference, etc…). Don’t limit how the Lord can love His shepherds through you!! Let’s just ask and obey!!

2. Give and be generous

Let’s pray about including the local shepherds in our giving, and ideally we should be praying about how to be GENEROUS and encouraging to them!  I know of a local church last year that circulated a quick letter introducing the idea of giving a shepherd gift to the elders.

The free-will giving that came (separate from church giving) in response was so generous that they were able to give a generous get-away weekend gift to each of the three local shepherds and their spouses, as a thank you and a way to encourage and build into their marriages. That’s just ONE way that ONE group obeyed the following biblical instructions.

3. Honor and obey

Hebrews 13 says to “remember” shepherds, to “follow” them, to “obey” them, and Timothy says to “honor” them. How might the Lord want us to live out these biblical instructions???

The norm in our culture (and sadly too often in the church) is to criticize authority, resist authority, challenge authority, etc. This is not the example of Christ!!! Those of us who seek, by grace, to take following our Lord seriously, should be so different than that!!

We should honor God’s shepherds and support them and love them and encourage them on. This is the way of Christ! Lord help each of us to obey Him how He directs us.

assemblyHUB would like to encourage everyone to continue this challenge and consider ways to encourage your shepherds.  We would love to get your stories of ways that you have blessed or been blessed and we will share them as anonymous testimonials.  You can submit your stories to   We will also be posting testimonials that Scott received as a result of the challenge.  May these be an encouragement to you – to your heart and also to spur you on to good works.

Scott DeGroff

    1 Comment

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    Thank you, Scott, for the thoughtfulness and love with which these articles were written. It touches my heart more than words could say. Thank you.

    I noticed that you said a shepherd is “any man or woman that looks after God’s people selflessly.” As a woman I would be the first to agree that the Lord also gives women a shepherd’s heart, however, I get the impression that these articles were meant for elders, is that right? Not that my opinion is important, but I have always believed that the men who bear the burdensome role of an elder is incomparable to those who have a shepherds heart. They are, to me, very different. But I know, Scott, that the largeness of your heart probably wanted to include all types of shepherds, which I appreciate 🙂

    It’s just that my dad is an elder, and I know all too well the sorrows elders (and their families) bear, how almost unbearable their burdens become, and how underappreciated and unloved they are (which is why these articles are so touching to me). Let’s just say that my dad is my hero, and I have unprecedented respect for all elders everywhere.

    When the Chief Shepherd appears, I believe all Christians everywhere (including me) will be blown away and put to shame at the brilliance and magnificence of the crown of glory that elders will receive. 1 Peter 5:4. To God be the glory!


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