Answering specific questions: A case study of Practical Shepherding

I love finding underdog blogs. You know, those blogs that aren’t insanely popular but have something wonderful to offer.

Practical Shepherding has something wonderful to offer.

Pastor Brian Croft shares counsel for other pastors or upcoming pastors on the day-to-day life skills of ministry work. In particular, I’ve noticed many of his posts so far have focused on how to serve during hospital visits and how to share the gospel at funerals.

The first thing that struck me when I found the site last week was the post titles, specifically their consistent style. Each title is a question, and most are questions the blog’s readers might already be asking.

In each of these posts, Pastor Brian tries to answer these questions with practical advice he’s learned through the Bible, other teachers, and personal experience.

Now don’t get me wrong – I love listening and asking questions. I know I should do more of both. A recent post at Practical Shepherding even highlights this need to listen and understand instead of always trying to give advice:

That said, we still need people who give straight up suggestions for surviving “in the trenches.” And doing that specifically requires three things:

1. Learning who God is and cultivating our relationship with Him.

2. Listening to and studying others to learn what they want.

3. Living it out so we can share from experience, not just theory.

In a general sense, that’s what I’m learning from Practical Shepherding: I’m learning to answer specific questions for others, meeting their needs instead of following my own desires for what I want to offer them.

Serving Suggestions:

(1) Pastor or not, you and I can both learn more about ministering to others from this blog.

(2) How are you specifically answering what people want to know? This isn’t about becoming a know-it-all. This is about becoming a practical resource for people who need help, not an Encyclopedia of dusty knowledge that’s never applied.

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