The Shepherding Program is a key component of life here at Saint Peter Lutheran. When you become a member, you are automatically enrolled in a shepherding group according to your neighborhood-based geographical area.
What is the Shepherding Program? It is a series of church households clustered together with a trained shepherd lay leader who periodically reaches out to members of the cluster. The shepherd helps people stay connected, sends cards, offers prayer, and gives support in various ways. If a medical challenge or a loss arises, the shepherd can check in and offer services, like a “meal train” to provide support for several days, or they can connect a member to our prayer team, parish nurses, or pastors for additional medical and spiritual support.
What are shepherds? A shepherd is a lay person who has a passion for caring for others.
How does the shepherding program work? Each shepherd is assigned a geographical location in the parish. When someone in their area joins the church as a member, the shepherd is given their contact information. Each shepherd has their own process of doing things, but it’s expected that a new member will hear from their shepherd in person, on the phone, or with a greeting card. When trouble arises, a member can contact their shepherd for prayer or assistance. Sometimes the church hears about a situation, such as when a care card is submitted or a family member calls. In this case, the shepherd will be alerted that one of their members needs prayer, support, or comfort.
Do I interact with the rest of the people in my shepherd group? Some shepherds communicate with their group via email or even arrange get-togethers, but it depends on the shepherd and the group, according to their needs and preferences.
Is my medical information private? Yes! Shepherds are instructed to respect your privacy, so even when you reach out, only the pertinent information is passed between pastors, parish nurses, lead shepherds, and shepherds, but only at your request (more on this below).
What is the Prayer List? If you have requested care, you will be asked if you want to be on the published prayer list. If you opt out, your information is not shared outside of the ministering circle. If you opt in, your name will appear at the back of the church bulletin.
How do I request care? You can request care by reaching out to your shepherd, a parish nurse, or by completing a care card found on the back of the pew. Just drop it in the offering plate and we’ll get back to you.
How do I find my shepherd? If you don’t know who your shepherd is, find your information in the Member Directory. Under your photo it will say something like, “Shepherd – LEL/WILM – Killian.” In this example, the shepherd group is LEL/WILM (Leland/Wilmington), and the shepherd is Cindy Killian.
What kind of care can I receive? Upon learning of an illness or death, shepherds know it’s important to reach out to the member or their family. They will ask if there is a need for meals, rides to a doctor’s office, visitation, communion, etc. If you give permission to pass on your information, your shepherd may also coordinate with other members in your shepherd group to assist with meals and/or rides.
What is a Lead Shepherd? A lead shepherd is a lay person who helps maintain organization of the Shepherd Program. We generally have two lead shepherds, each responsible for half of the parish area. You can see the shepherd groups by selecting Groups in the Member Directory and scrolling down to the shepherd groups.
Can I be a Shepherd? Yes! If your heart is calling you this way, or you’re just wondering how you can be of service, reach out to the Lead Shepherds listed in the directory, or to one of the pastors to inquire about being a shepherd. Or just click here to send Pastor Jason a note and mention “shepherding” in the message field.