The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protecting, and Providing for Your Family By Timothy Z. Witmer

summary The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protecting, and Providing for Your Family

Helpful thoughts and pointers from an experienced man of God. Timothy Z. Witmer (8/10) We read this book for our recent men's book study. This was the first book I have read by Whitmer. My initial impressions were not great, as his writing came across very stern. However, as the book went on, this sense lightened up a bit. I don't know if his writing actually changed, or if I simply warmed up to his style, but the couple of times he used himself as a bad example definitely helped me to have some more respect to listen to what he said. He came off, in those moments, as more pastoral and less preachy.

Aside from the style of writing, the content was helpful! I especially liked and appreciated the chapter about protecting your spouse. It was not what I was expecting. I was expecting it to be about physical protection and spiritual as well, but he spent the whole chapter talking about guarding against adultery and lust. It was honest, helpful, forthright and necessary for a book aimed at men who are husbands and fathers. Very very helpful!

So, overall I really appreciated the content, although the writing may be a bit abrasive in places.

We had great discussion in our men's book group about this book and it's a great one for a men's study! Timothy Z. Witmer Witmer uses the four categories from his book on eldership to help men apply the same principles to their families. For the most part, it works well. I appreciated much of what he had to say--especially his chapter toward the end on sexual purity. That was the best chapter in the book and is one that men, especially elders and pastors need to read.

All in all a helpful book. Timothy Z. Witmer This book isn’t mind-blowing profound, but it’s short and really practical. Timothy Z. Witmer Timothy Witmer, professor of practical theology at Westminster Seminary, is best known for his book The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding In Your Church. Its reviews were so good that I nabbed it—and put it on my shelf to await that glorious future day when I will actually read books I buy.

But when I saw his new book The Shepherd Leader at Home available for review, I decided to read it immediately—because fathering and husbanding are pressing issues for me, a young dad. I assumed that the book was written to tell pastors (I'm something of an outreach pastor, preaching weekly to a group of mostly non-Christians) how to handle the unique challenges ministry presents to a growing family.

I was somewhat disappointed when I began to realize that the book was much more general, written for every Christian husband/father. And, I admit, I was also disappointed when I began to feel I'd heard everything before.

But that's actually the value of the book. In a straightforward style, in admirably short chapters, Witmer explains what the Bible has to say about a man's responsibility toward his wife and children. Nearly every paragraph had something to tell me about my responsibility either directly from Scripture or from the wisdom of an experienced, godly man who has lived Scripture out in his home over the years.

Witmer reminded me that knowing, leading, protecting, and providing for my family is my calling as their shepherd. If some of the material in the marriage chapter, for example, sounds a bit hackneyed (it isn't full of the scintillating insights of a Tim Keller book) the counsel is nonetheless valid: date your wife, thank her for taking care of you and the kids, tell her she's pretty, let her complete her sentences to you, don't check your iPad while you're talking to her.

Likewise the fathering chapter: eat dinner together every day, have a family night each week, spend one-on-one time with your kids. (There was less Bible in this chapter, though the advice seems self-evidently good.)

Likewise the family leadership chapter: a leader is someone who leads followers toward a goal. A Christian leader is one who helps his followers reach God's goals for them. A Christian leader is also a servant.

Likewise the chapter on the husband's leadership of his wife: women are made in the image of God; Jesus himself treated them with a respect alien to His culture and time; the Pauline call for wives to submit is not a blanket permission for husbands to coerce their wives, nor is it a command for all women to submit to all men.

I'll tick off the other chapters even more briefly:

The chapter on leading one's children focused on the consistent example which is so necessary to avoid hypocrisy.

The chapter on providing for one's family was basic but included some enriching personal stories and multiple key verses from Scripture.

Th chapter on family devotions had more good, simple advice. One searching question: if someone asked you if you have family devotions could you say yes with a good conscience?

The advice to men on sexual purity was simple, filled with Scripture, and (therefore) utterly sound.

The chapter on protecting children didn't feel like a pendulum swing away from spanking and into grace; nor did it feel legalistic. It was just standard, middle-of-the conservative-evangelical-road Bible talk about kids. And for once, I think I've come across an acrostic I'll actually use, Witmer's ABCDEFG process for discipline (I'll post it up on my blog soon).

The only thing I think I disagreed with in the whole book was his description of marital love as something defined by commitment and independent of circumstances; instead I'd rather say that commitment is one of the defining features of my circumstances. But he did not hang out on this point anywhere near as long as, for example, Tim Keller did in his marriage book.

So my conclusion: this seems to me to be the kind of book that you hand to a fairly new Christian dad. Or a book to dip into when you need to be reminded about the basics of your calling as a husband and father. I'm glad I read it. I pray for God's grace to live up to the biblical vision it sets. Timothy Z. Witmer

A short & brief book written for Christian husbands & dads. The book is divided into four sections - Knowing, Leading, Providing, and Protecting. Each section consists of a chapter for the wife and a chapter for the children.

This book is a great primer for being a husband and a father, but 15 years into my marriage and 10 into my fatherhood, many of the points were things that I’m already doing (or at least trying to) in my life. This would’ve been great near the start of my adulthood. That said, for someone who’s just getting started, for someone who’s unsure what a father should be, or a husband, this is a good little book to help establish some solid principles from the Bible. Timothy Z. Witmer Very practical and straightforward. A good place to start a thorough reflection on God’s calling to the leadership that men are called to display at home.

At the end of each chapter, there are questions that are useful either for small group discussion or to one's wife assessment.

I'd encourage the reading. Timothy Z. Witmer There are some books that you just need from time to time. This is one of them. A book written simply to get to the heart of the matter: Leading your family well. Being a father of four isn’t an easy task, let alone finding time to read! But the author of this book is a seasoned man in his empty nester years reminding us younger men of the necessity of man to know, lead, protect, provide for his family, the four tennets of our family ministry. I found that as I read and dig in the words of this book, the more that I noticed blindspots in my own shepherding at home. I think every young parent, young husband, or any man in any season of life should read this book to construct or rehearse a solid understaning of what God expects of man to believe and do to shepherd his wife and kids. Timothy Z. Witmer This book deals with important base issues in the family. These things need to be said over and over again in different ways so they can sink in. God has called parents to be the main Christian influence in the lives of their children, but we have become great at delegating the responsibility to others. Timothy Z. Witmer lays out a strong foundation for why that has to change and gives some basic insight in how to begin the process of being the main leaders in the spiritual formation of our children.

He strongly encourages men to know their family in and out by spending quality and quantity time. You can't shepherd and lead without a deep knowledge that comes from life experience. This may be one the greatest failures of the men in our generation and it's not just business men or dead beat dads; it's also men who are in ministry and men in our churches. We must prioritize our families so we can serve them like Christ served his Church. It is important that men work on establishing a relationship with their kids that allows them to lovingly discipline them and speak the gospel into their lives. Witmer echoes this sentiment, Discipline at every level is more effective when it is built on the foundation of a personal, loving relationship

Good stuff.
Timothy Z. Witmer Witmer, having written a book for church leaders called The Shepherd Leader, takes the same paradigm and applies it to home leadership. What sets his work apart from others on a husband/father's leadership is the shepherding paradigm with the fourfold framework of knowing, leading, providing, and protecting. This framework is helpful for understanding the totality of a man's role in the home. I was reminded of a great many things I need to improve in my leadership of my own home. For that, I am grateful. Timothy Z. Witmer

Husbands and dads play a crucial role in the health and survival of the family. That's why leadership expert Tim Witmer has written this book--to strengthen our efforts to lead well. He applies a biblical framework to the role of leadership in the home, showing how effective shepherding involves knowing, leading, protecting, and providing for your family; all the while communicating solid principles with a down-to-earth, relatable tone.

Find in this book the wise counsel and practical direction that is sure to make a difference in your family today. The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protecting, and Providing for Your Family

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