Multiplication Center

Shepherd or Cowboy? What’s your Style?

May 17, 2018




In Lead Like A Shepherd, The Secret of Leading Well, pastor, author and leadership consultant, Larry Osborne unpacks instruction for church leaders found in 1 Peter where they are exhorted to “shepherd the flock among them.”

I recently did an interview with Larry to learn more about the differences between cowboy and shepherd leadership and why he wrote the book. Check out that conversation in the video below.


In addition, you can get a feel for the book from the following excerpt:

A good shepherd needs to be patient. That’s not easy. I know that from my own struggles with patience. Early on I wanted everyone in my church to be instantly mature. I loved the lost. I adored baby Christians who still swore in their prayers. I prized those who quickly raced to the front of the line. But I had no tolerance for those who lingered at the back, particularly those who kept getting out of line and wandering off into the wilderness. For some reason, I didn’t think they deserved the same kind of pursuit or forbearance that the Lord gave me. I wanted to take the stragglers behind the woodshed. I wanted to let those who kept wandering off get what they deserved—to be eaten by wolves. I thought my impatience was Spirit-led. I thought I was helping God out by refusing to accept their lame excuses. I saw no reason to slow down and stop and chase after those who wandered off the path. Constantly searching for quiet waters or damming up the stream to make it easier for them to drink seemed like a compromising accommodation to their sin and feeble faith. I was wrong and foolish, especially in light of Jesus’ warning that he will give to me the same kind of mercy and judgment I give to others.

Get your copy today and learn to lead like a shepherd in your church or ministry.

Order Now


Larry Osborne is a senior and teaching pastor at North Coast Church, acclaimed as one of the most influential and innovative churches in America. Under his leadership the church has grown from 128 to over 12,000 on a weekend.

Built around sermon-based small groups, North Coast has maintained a participation rate of over 80 percent of its weekend attendance in small groups for over 30 years. Its growth has come by word of mouth as they do not advertise or hold any special outreach events. Also recognized as pioneers in the multi-site movement, North Coast now offers 49 worship options on five local sites each weekend plus numerous national and international venues.

Larry writes and speaks extensively on the subjects of leadership, building healthy teams, innovation, multi-site ministry and spiritual formation. His books include: Thriving In Babylon, Accidental Pharisees, A Contrarian’s Guide To Knowing God, 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe, Sticky Teams, Sticky Church, Sticky Leaders, Mission Creep, and The Unity Factor.


Recent Articles