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Family Shepherds [Paperback]

Baucham Voddie

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Family Shepherds The author of Family Driven Faith equips men to model and transfer God's truth within their homes, covering topics that span from marriage and parenting to media habits and overcoming difficult family dynamics. Full description

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  55 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great look at what men are called to be in their homes 22 Nov 2011
By Joshua Reich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Last week I read through Voddie Baucham's book Family Shepherds. Like his other books (Family Driven Faith and What He Must Be...If He wants to Marry my Daughter), it was a fast read but packed a lot into it.

There are not a lot of books out there that actually call men to be men in a biblical way. It either comes off as calling men to continue to abdicate their God given role and be weak, or to continue to abuse that role through sin. Most books about what God calls men and women to be spend most of their time saying, "This is what submission and leadership are not" but then never really say what it is. On top of this, most men and women who follow Jesus genuinely want to know what the Bible calls them to be. Most men want to lead their families, they are just not sure how.

If that's you, Voddie Baucham's books are a great place to start, particularly this one. The book is broken up into 4 parts: what the Bible calls husbands and fathers (family shepherds is what he calls them) to be, how to disciple your wife and kids, building a foundation in your marriage, and then how to evaluate your life and pace to fulfill what God has called you to.

What is a family shepherd? Baucham said he uses the term for a number of reasons, "It reminds me of the goal of my work. I'm shepherding my children toward Christ. My goal is not to raise children who conform to my hopes, wishes, dreams, or standards; my goal is to raise children who walk in the "discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4)."

Overall, the book was incredibly helpful for me. While some parts are things he has written on in other places, I especially found the chapters on family worship and discipline to be helpful. Katie and I have been talking through how you parent with the gospel instead of moralism (stop doing this, do that). The chapters on discipline were helpful in this way.

One of the other things that I learned was how important prioritizing your marriage over your children is. While I know this, have preached on it, Baucham added a reason I never thought of. I've said his first 2 reasons in sermons before: your kids will leave one day so they can't be the foundation of your marriage and prioritizing your marriage over your kids brings security to your kids lives. The third reason he gave was important to me, when he pointed out that as parents you are training your kids to be married. While I knew this, it is easy to forget that I am teaching my kids through my marriage to be married.

Here are a few other things that jumped out:

-Discipling our children is not about teaching them to behave in a way that won't embarrass us. We're working toward something much more important than that. We're actually raising our children with a view toward leading them to trust and to follow Christ.
-We must not present the gospel to our children as though it were a fairy tale. They must know that these are truths worthy to be believed. These things are verifiable; they really happened. Moreover, because they really happened, their implications are inescapable.
-We must know the difference between what the gospel requires and what the gospel produces.
-Family shepherds must see the spiritual leadership of their families as their God-given duty. This is not a program! This is the responsibility God has laid at the doorstep of every man who carries the title father. Those who neglect the spiritual welfare of their families are therefore derelict in their duties in the same way a hired hand would be if he were caught sleeping on the job.
-A seismic shift is represented by changing the focus from one that says, "I'm a lawyer, and that defines the way my family is shaped," to one that says, "My wife and I entered a covenant relationship designed to bring forth, train, and launch a generation of godly offspring, and that's going to direct all the rest of my decisions." This isn't to say men should slack off at work. It is, however, to say that they should not slack off at home (something we almost never hear). This is a radical change of perspective.
-There are at least 3 reasons that make prioritizing our children over our marriage both foolish and dangerous. First, our children will eventually leave home - and if they're the foundation of our family, then their departure will mean our family's demise. Second, our marriage forms the cornerstone of our children's security. Finally, one of our primary goals is to prepare our children for marriage.
-The greatest source of security our children have in this world is a God-honoring, Christ-centered marriage between their parents.

Here is an interview Voddie did about the book.
[...]

I highly recommend this book to men who are looking for ways to lead their families or are unsure about how to do it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Equipping Men to Lead 2 Dec 2011
By parkerj - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The subtitle for this book "Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes" could not be more accurate for what this book is attempting to do. So the ultimate question is: Does this book accomplish its purpose? The answer is a resounding YES!! Voddie Baucham has continued his excellent writings/preaching on the family with this excellent book. The book is broken down into five parts. Part one is an introduction to the book and its purpose, namely, making sure readers have an understanding of a biblical view of the family. Parts two - five are actually a breakdown of what Grace Family Baptist Church goes through in their men's meeting on a yearly basis. The first of these sections is Family Discipleship and Evangelism. The stress in this section is that it is the father's job to be the primary teacher in his children's lives. The chapter on catechizing our kids is a wonderful read and defense for catechizing. The reasons why we do not anymore and the closing quote by BB Warfield are very insightful to our neglect of this wonderful technique on teaching sound doctrine to our kids. Part three is on Marriage Enrichment. This section is good. Much of the material can be found in Voddie's other writings or sermons, but the charge for men to lead is not one that gets old and certainly is worth hearing again. Part four covers Training and Discipline of Children. This section starts with a wonderful chapter on the implications of what we believe have on how we raise our kids and discipline them. The chapter centers on the differences in approach one has based on theology, namely, Augustinianism/Calvinism vs. Pelagianism/Semi-Pelagianism. This chapter is worth the price of the book in my opinion simply because if we have an improper view of self and sin it will ultimately shape the way we train our children. The next chapter on Formative Discipline is worth the price as well. Voddie walks through a book by Cotton Mather titled A Family Well Ordered and the chapter is filled with great advice and wisdom. The last section is on Lifestyle Evaluation and is certainly a good chapter to come back to and examine our lives. Overall this book does a wonderful job of laying out a pattern that would be beneficial to follow. As Paul said to be imitators of him as he was of Christ, we would do well as men to imitate much of what is in this book and to plead with God that the next generation of men would stand on biblical principles in their home.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to Family Discipleship 8 Feb 2012
By Caleb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As a relatively new parent and a definitely new pastor I'm always on the lookout for books and resources to help with family discipleship. Family Shepherds is a book that is practical, accessible, and will be very helpful to parents (especially dads) who desire to disciple their families well.

The book is divided up into five parts which I'll list and briefly describe so that you can get a feel for the content of the book.

1. The Need to Equip Family Shepherds- This introductory section deals with the move away from the family as the primary source of discipleship and theological knowledge towards a "leave it to the professionals" mindset. Baucham encourages a return to practices of family worship and toward a view of the family as the primary means of discipleship rather than a children's minister or a youth pastor.
2. Family Discipleship and Evangelism-Here the emphasis is placed on the importance of dads being the spiritual leaders in their homes by proclaiming the Gospel at home and educating their children in the Scriptures.
3. Marriage Enrichment- Discipleship at home starts with a strong marriage built upon the Biblical foundation for what a marriage should look like.
4. The Training and Discipline of Children- This section explores the Scriptural mandates to discipline children and how best to do it in a redemptive fashion.
5. Lifestyle Evaluation- This section digs into everyday life and asks men to examine their lifestyle choices and make family discipleship a priority.

This book is decidedly old fashioned but in a good way. Not everything from yesteryear is worth returning to but there are many things to be learned from how Christians in the past engaged their families in discipleship and how we can recover that practice today. This book is a good starting point for beginning that journey.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Family Shepherds- A Book Review 5 Jan 2012
By steve pack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Voddie Baucham, the preaching pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas and the author of Family Driven Faith, has written another book titled, Family Shepherds, seeking to help Christian men fulfill their God-given role as the shepherds of their families faith.

All Christians have heard the stories of the busy pastor, or the busy missionary who has great success in his ministry at the expense of his own family. As sad as that story is it is no less sad to see the busy Christian dad, who is not a "professional" of the church, struggle with success in the professional world and feel helpless as his family seems to fade away into the background. Many times the father, who truly desires to please God, feels as if he is failing. The problem reveals that the church is failing, or struggling, in the arena of discipleship. This either is not happening in proper equipping of men to study and obey the Word of God or in communicating the role of the church professional verses the role of the father in his home.

In his book, Bauchman observes the problem of men who desire to obey God by leading their families but become guilty of handing over their shepherding role to the church staff. He identifies some of the reasons this might be happening. Certainly one of the obvious reasons is that fathers don't feel spiritually mature themselves. While this is an issue, Bauchman doesn't let the local church off the hook, "it's important that we recognize the synergy between what we do as churches and what people do in their families....The things we do corporately will go a long way toward determining how much we can expect to change privately"(41). One of Bauchman's criticism of the church is that we are creating a culture that separates the family during Sunday services and a schedule that scatters the family in their place of worship. Bauchman spends the beginning chapters of his book arguing why this is not the biblical model and setting out a discipleship solution his church uses to solve the problem.

"The Bible leaves no room for fatherhood that doesn't take seriously the responsibility of raising children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Whether it's found in the Law, the Prophets, the Gospels, or the Epistles, our calling is clear. We must shepherd our families"(25).

Throughout the rest of his book, Bauchman spends time walking men through an overview of the type of discipleship needed to help them grow in their role as family shepherd. These areas include: heralding the Gospel in the home, the benefits of using a catechism, family worship, marriage enrichment, discipline seasoned with grace, and how to evaluate one's current life so they can make the necessary corrections.

Bauchman has done a service to churches and their men. He has written a book that clearly presents a biblical case for churches pouring into their men, so their men are equipped to pour into their families. He doesn't shy away from the hard message that many churches today are struggling in this area, especially in their weekly structure. He has created an argument that calls for prayerful consideration on the way we approach families in our churches. Regardless of the structure of your church Bauchman makes a strong case for what our churches need to be teaching men. The only issue with the discipleship areas is that each area potentially calls for its own book. Bauchman could never realistically cover everything in 179 pages. His book introduces these areas, but churches must pick up where he left off and fully expound upon these key areas of discipleship.

If you are a pastor concerned with the lack of leadership in the homes of your congregants, or if you are a father in need of discipleship and encouragement this book will the beginning of what you are looking for.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TIME TO STEP UP, MEN! 28 Jun 2013
By Deane Plew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
No author is perfect. Baucham rightly calls men to fulfill their God-given roles as "Family Shepherds." Many men are threatened to rise to the occasion. In his book Voddie gives the basis and makes the application clear. The book is challenging and encouraging at the same time. A must read if a man is serious about his calling as the head of his home.
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