Consulting vs. Shepherding, by Ed Underwood

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Will they feel loved when you’ve left? 

Numerous church consultants offer awesome insights into church growth, church finances, innovative ways to reach into the community, building a small group ministry… The list is endless and these consultants often help churches turn critical corners.

The critical corner I help churches turn is the corner toward health, and that requires a shepherd.

In my heart, I’m still a shepherd. Oh sure, I offer practical advice, come alongside leaders, help churches get healthy and thrive relationally in community, and teach the Word of God in the context of healing, vision, and hope. However, I never forget my role–a shepherd of God’s people.

Recently my Judy was driving me to the airport for a few RecenteredGroup assignments that involved friends I’ve loved and worked with over the years. Tearfully, I asked her to never let me forget that I’m dealing with dear and cherished children of the Living God.


The question on my mind and in my heart as I answered questions, spoke into lives, and tried to help in any way I could. “Lord Jesus, I want them to feel loved after I’ve left.”

Because we live in a church world that tends to be loud. Argumentative. Advice can be sour, difficult, and canned. “Experts” on doing church right (whatever that is!) often use exaggeration and shame to straighten out people and churches.

All of what I offer through RecenteredGroup revolves around connection and trust. If that’s the kind of “consultant” you’re looking for or your heart longs for, give me a call.

And please know that from the first conversation to the last the prayer on my heart for you will be, “Jesus, please let them feel your love.”

–Ed Underwood

Ed UnderwoodComment