The Importance of Good Shepherding on the Field {Book Club}

Today we finish with Facing Danger: A Guide Through Risk by Dr Anna E Hampton. But before we dive into the last two chapters, let’s huddle up and have a small Book Club meeting.

1. We are part-way through #GivingTuesday! Here is how we are doing (and thank you for praying and supporting!):

[totaldonations-progress-bar id=”19498″ button=”yes” button_text=”Give Now to the Not Alone Campaign”]

2. Sometimes there is an “empty” week between books in Book Club. Would you be up for an interview? I’d love for us to get to know each other as readers. You can share your reading experiences overseas and let fellow readers get to know you. If you’re up for it, answer the interview questions here (The questions are in a  google survey and I know not every country plays well with google docs. If you are having trouble email me at [email protected] and I’ll get the questions to you.)

3. If you can believe it, next week will be Kimberlee Conway Ireton’s last month with us. She will end her year of walking us through the Church Year with advent. One of the best ways to bless an author is to leave a review on Amazon (and other places). Please hop over and leave a review for either Cracking Up: A Postpartum Faith Crisis or The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year as a small thank you.

4. Our December book is Those Who Wait: Finding God in Disappointment, Doubt and Delay by Tanya Marlow. Because it can be read as an advent book, read the first chapter on her story and how she got interested in the subject of waiting (this alone, is worth the price of admission). We won’t discuss it next week, but the following week, December 12th, we will jump into the first of the four Biblical heros this book looks at. I interviewed Tanya about the book and living overseas. Read the full interview here. Enjoy this sample of what’s to come:

The first candle stands for the Patriarchs. I chose a ‘matriarch’, Sarah. Through her story, we deal with disappointment and bitterness, waiting for joy and fulfilled promises.

The second candle represents the Prophets, so I chose Isaiah. We rarely think of him as a person, rather than just a prophetic mouthpiece. I wanted to explore the personal cost of his truth-telling, and through that how we deal with delay and frustration as we wait for justice and peace in our land.

John the Baptist is the next candle. Through his story, we explore our struggle with doubt as we wait to live out our life’s calling.

And Mary, mother of Jesus’ story is the story of all humanity – dealing with disgrace and isolation as we wait for Jesus’ coming.

Which character can you relate to at this season? Leave a comment, any comment, and you could win one of five copies of this book!

Now to our final discussion of Facing Danger. I so appreciated the progression of this book. If Anna had started off with leaders and the need to shepherd during risk, it could have sent the message that it is only the responsibility of leaders to be “risk savvy.” Instead she started with what the Bible has to say about risk and highlighted there is no one response to risk. Instead, the Bible shows how important personal spiritual maturity and discernment is.

Each one of us needs to be growing spiritually and rooted in God, have our identity in Christ, and hear from the Holy Spirit.

With a solid personal foundation when it comes to overall life on the field and risk in particular, Anna turned to the important role shepherds play during risk.

As one who has led others on the field during two “risky” situations, I found her counsel to be one I hope many leaders read and learn from. The field staff and the home office do need to have strong communication. Before any risk season, a foundation of trust will go a long way in mitigating the distrust that can arise.

I also really appreciated how she identified essentials for Risk Leadership:

  • Modify your leadership style
  • A well-developed personal conviction regarding risk
  • Leadership skills that are crucial in crisis
  • Develop an awareness at the Home Office
  • Reserve judgment of staff
  • Trust your gut feeling
  • Practice wise risk communication (loved this!!)
  • Read up on the psychology of risk
  • Affirm those who have risked
  • Develop a risk understanding within the home office culture
  • Invest in your own care.

Her list of “Unhelpful responses” needs to be made into a PDF that someone in risk could just send out :). Instead of punching people or making snarky comments. Just an idea. I love that even within the chapter on shepherding, she pointed back to building our “faith muscles.” We are all in process. We need to keep turning to Jesus. We need to keep developing skills. Not in this overwhelming to-do list, but in a very natural way that growth is built into our messy, full, wonderful lives.

The final chapter begins, “The risk event is an honor to experience and a privilege to steward with all that it does in and through us for God’s glory and for the increase of his kingdom.” Yes. Yes. Yes.

And the last line: “Remember, there is no armor for our backside, so we will not shrink back or turn away, but be sober and vigilant. We will endure so we are characterized as a generation with courageous combat faith, with a wartime mentality, men and women who will do the right thing even when we are afraid—men and women, and boys and girls with the heart of our King”. Yes. Yes. Yes.

How have you been shepherded by leaders in your organization? Have you experienced a risk situation? What did your leadership get right? Where could they improve? Leave a comment and maybe you’ll win a book!

See you in the comments friends,


Help Women know they are Not Alone. Give before Tuesday ends, and your gift counts double. Donate here.

[totaldonations-progress-bar id=”19498″ button=”yes” button_text=”Give Now to the Not Alone Campaign”]


  1. Nicole T Walters November 28, 2017

    I’m so excited to join you for the first time in the book club. I was already planning to read Those Who Wait over advent and am happy to have some others overseas along with me! We’ve been here a month now. I identify with Isaiah right now, feeling a bit overwhelmed with the needs in the land we have just come to. Can’t wait to join you all!

  2. Kaylee November 29, 2017

    Each of these characters speak so strongly into my experience that it sparks my interest. Sarah and Naomi have long been an example to me of women serving alongside their husbands. Their humanity has been an encouragement to me while God’s work in their lives has been a hope and a challenge. I would love the opportunity to join you as you read this book.

  3. Esther November 30, 2017

    I most relate to John right now, in my “struggle with doubt as we wait to live out our life’s calling.” I am moving back to the US in about a month and trying to figure out where God is leading me next.

    1. Amy Young December 5, 2017

      Esther, that’s a lot :)! I can see how the John chapter may speak to you! I look forward to reading the book with you!

  4. Kiera December 11, 2017

    Interesting last couple of chapters of Anna Hampton’s book. I think that even though I haven’t lived through the level of risky situations that Anna has, time and again while reading this book, I have felt the validation of the experiences that I have had. Two lines stood out to me in these last chapters – “the “dripping faucet stress” of twenty-first-century field work.” (Kindle Location 4157) and “People living cross-culturally can only handle a certain amount of change in a short period of time.” (Kindle Location 4286).

    Also throughout the book, I have loved her emphasis on caring for ourselves and here she extends this to leaders as well. I know leaders carry a great burden of responsibility and things to do, and yet I would have liked to see many of the leaders I experienced take better care of themselves. I appreciated how she pointed out that as people leave, it’s impossible to cover all their work too – things will have to be dropped, leaders will have to prioritize.

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.