A Shepherd Center in the Rockies
On January 5th, 2010, we open our first Shepherd Center in our home with 9 young men and 2 mentors participating.
Call it higher education. Call it mentorship. Call it what you will.
We want to combine worship, study, and life, and thoroughly integrate these elements. We're done with separating the worship of God from the chemistry laboratory. We're through with dualism.The separation of discipleship and education has been ruinous for higher education and seminary, and this we believe is the root of the undoing of the faith in America and in the western world.
For 3 days each week, we'll study together, worship together, and work together in the confines of a 1700 square foot basement.
Our hope is to renew relational living, relational education, and a God-centered life in a lost and lonely world. As we face the breakdown of humanism again (after a 1,000 year renewed experiment with it), Christians will develop new forms of education or discipleship to replace the heavily institutionalized approaches used by the humanists.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer strikes at the heart of community in his book "Life Together," a book we recommend for the men participating in our Shepherd Center out here on the eastern plains of Colorado.
Here are some of the distinctives for our center:
- We’re focusing on local men. These men need to feel themselves still connected to the family and local church. We do not want 16-24 year old men to uproot themselves from their communities and revert to the non-covenantal life of the vagabond in the city of anonymity and unaccountability.
- We will teach Bible and the Classics from the City of God and the City of Man, and provide the sharp contrast. We will NOT separate "Bible School" from "Secular College Learning." This is a false dichotomy.
- Each Shepherd Center will build another Shepherd Center.
- We will not charge the men anything. They will live with the mentors (at least for part of each week). We will provide 1 on 1 accountability. The class size never exceeds 12, but will probably hover between 3 and 8. This is a really bad business plan, and probably wouldn’t work as a college.
- We will maximize on the value of long-term relationships.
- Our goal is to produce humble, mighty shepherds for future homes and churches in Colorado. Leaders - yes. But not as the Gentiles produce them. Leaders as Jesus would have produced them.
- Our model - Jesus took 12 disciples with him for 3 years. It was teaching on the way, and almost immediate application on the way. It's the University of Jesus.