“I read Witmer’s book in one sitting. I found it that engaging and helpful. This is practical theology at its best: applying biblical principles to contemporary pastoral needs.” Kevin DeYoung

Published on February 1, 2020 by Benjamin J. Montoya

P&R Publishing, 2010 | 288 pages

Book Sale at WTS Books


Leaders in the church are called to be shepherds, not a board of directors. This requires involvement in a personal shepherding ministry among the people. The Shepherd Leader unpacks the four primary ministries of shepherds—knowing, feeding, leading, and protecting—on macro (church-wide) and micro (personal) levels, providing seven elements to be incorporated into an effective shepherding plan.

Includes a Foreword by Sinclair Ferguson.


About the Author:

Timothy Z. Witmer received his MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary and DMin from Reformed Theological Seminary. He is an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and has over 35 years of pastoral experience. A former professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, he works with churches to establish or fine tune their shepherding ministry.



“The book is an outstanding presentation of how to engage in effective shepherding in a local congregation. I cannot recommend it too highly.”

Derek Thomas

Professor of Systematic and Practical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary

“Tim Witmer’s book could not have come at a better time.So many are “slipping into the darkness” and most of us don’t know what to do about it. Now we do!In a Biblical, practical and wise way, Dr. Witmer reminds us, admonishes us and teaches us.Churches all over America will “rise up an call him blessed.”

Steve Brown

Key Life Ministries

“Tim Witmer ably guides us into rich pastures of writing on what it truly means to shepherd God’s people. For men called to love sheep, the results both compel and convict. For leaders who long to be faithful in the field, this book offers a wealth of theological and practical insight.ing about what church leaders should do and, therefore, what they should be. Too many church leaders perceive of themselves as a board of directors when the Bible is clear that they are to know, feed, lead, and protect the flock entrusted to their care.”

Dave Harvey

Sovereign Grace Ministries, Covenant Fellowship Church

“Tim Witmer is the faithful shepherd of a growing, urban, multi–ethnic church. In this useful and important book, he explains a biblical, practical model for shepherding ministry in a local church. We plan to use The Shepherd Leader as a primary resource for all of our candidates, interns, elders, and pastors –– our shepherds and shepherds–in–training.”

Phillip Ryken

President of Wheaton College

“The Shepherd Leader examines issues the church desperately needs to consider. We so deeply desire to organize and lead our churches by biblical principles, but can be confused or distracted by secular work or education principles. Now the fine pastor and scholar Tim Witmer brings his long experience of shepherding and close examination of Scripture to bear on the practical questions of leading and training to lead in the local church.”

Bryan Chapell

Senior Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, IL

“For five years our church has worked hard to improve elder-shepherding. We’ve worked on this as much as weve worked on anything. And yet, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that we still have work to do and gaps to fill. I read Witmer’s book in one sitting. I found it that engaging and helpful. This is practical theology at its best: applying biblical principles to contemporary pastoral needs. His grid for knowing, feeding, leading, and protecting the sheep through macro public ministry and micro private ministry is simple and compelling. If you can read this book and not be motivated to develop a more effective shepherding ministry in your church, you might want to check if you are called to shepherd in the first place.”

Kevin DeYoung

Senior Pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan

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P&R Publishing, 2010 | 288 pages

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