What biblical heart-level questions may be used as conversation starters, when caring for people who shepherd others spiritually? Answering this question may be helpful to local church elders (Ac 20:28), fathers (1 Tim 3:4-5), husbands (2 Sa 12:1-9) and Community Group leaders. Some of the heart-level questions included below may also be helpful to disciplers for introspection, conversation with people and conversation with God. Recently, to what extent:
has your religious practice been consistent with your preaching of God's word (Mat 23:3)?
has your preaching directed listeners to Christ so that they find freedom under Him (vs directed listeners to religious rules too difficult to bear or follow) (Mat 23:4)?
have your religious or volunteering deeds been done in order to be seen by others (Mat 23:5)?
have you sought or requested positions of religious, social or professional honor in order to be seen by others (Mat 23:6)?
have you sought to be recognized or praised in public (Mat 23:7)?
have you sought honor through the way people refer to you or describe you, e.g. by title or qualifier (Mat 23:8-10)?
have you sought to serve others, without ulterior motives (Mat 23:11)?
have your words or attitudes implied that other people's viewpoints or opinions are less important than yours (Mat 23:12)?
have you shown signs of hypocrisy (e.g. by having contradicting attitudes with different people in different contexts) (Mat 23:13)?
have you imposed, on people intrigued by Christ, rules which have turned those people away from the Savior (Mat 23:13)?
have you emphasized variations of God's explicit commands rather than encouraging love towards God and obedience of God's explicit commands, out of love for Him (Mat 23:15-16)?
have you loved money (Mat 23:16)?
have your conduct and comments focused on details of outward religious obedience more than weightier matters of the law, such as justice, mercy and faithfulness (Mat 23:23)?
have you displayed signs of greed or self-indulgence (Mat 23:25)?
have you had hidden sinfully proud personal desires perceived by others as godly and religious (Mat 23:27)?
have you noticed signs of hypocrisy and lawlessness in your heart (Mat 23:28)?
have you proudly thought you would have acted more faithfully to God than people whose rebellion is recorded in the Bible (Mat 23:30)?
have you harshly treated others with whom you disagree (Mat 23:34-35,37)?
have your words or way of shepherding people carried God's healing or inflicted emotional wounds to people (Jer 23:1)?
have your words or way of shepherding scattered people (vs. promoted unity among God's children) (Jer 23:1)?
have you neglected (vs. lovingly pursed) God's children (Jer 23:2). have you reminded God's children that the Father seeks to gather, multiply and make them fruitful (Jer 23:3)?
have your words or way of shepherding brought God-based reassurance, encouragement and desire to be one with God's people (vs. left fertile ground for fear, dismay and fleeing from God) (Jer 23:4)?
have you executed justice and righteousness, according to God's wisdom, in the land God has planted you as shepherd (Jer 23:5)?
have you presented Christ as the source and seat of your righteousness (vs. portrayed yourself as righteous by nature or personal efforts) (Jer 23:6)?
have you known God as your own God (vs. that of others) (Jer 23:7-8)?
have you intentionally engaged in adulterous thoughts or have failed to use your teaching to keep the church a people among whom faithfulness can prosper (Jer 23:10-11, 14)?
have you forgotten that walking in evil ways is like walking on a slippery path in darkness (Jer 23:12)?
have your public or private actions led others to give their hearts to something or someone else than God (Jer 23:13)?
have you implicitly or explicitly approved of evil (Jer 23:14,17)?
have you sought to communicate or promote personal ideas through your God-given office, rather than filtering those ideas using God's word and seeking, in your office, to hear and convey God's word only (Jer 23:16, 21, 25-26, 28, 31-32)?
have you sought to help people turn from evil ways and deeds (Jer 23:22)?
have you claimed to have personally received a word which was given by God to someone else (Jer 23:30)?
have you perverted God's word (Jer 23:36)?
have you said things which God commanded you not to say (Jer 23:38-40)?
have you fed yourself (i.e. sought to protect, satisfy or promote your ego, popularity, plans, body, appearance, privileges), instead of feeding the sheep God has entrusted to your care (Ez 34:2,8)?
have you prioritized the welfare of others over your own (Ez 34:3)?
have you strengthened the weak (Ez 34:4)?
have you cared well for the physically, emotionally or spiritually sick (Ez 34:4)?
have you labored in applying biblical medicine on the wounds of those whose hearts have been injured (Ez 34:4)?
have you striven to bring back the strayed to God and God's family (Ez 34:4,16)?
have you sought and brought back, to God's fold, those who have been lost or missing from church gatherings (Ez 34:4,6,12,13,16)?
have you been gentle in ruling over God's sheep (Ez 34:4)?
have you contributed, by action or omission, to the scattering and injury of souls entrusted to your care, some of whom may have been victims of wild beasts (Ez 34:5,8)?
have you exploited sheep entrusted to your care (Ez 34:10)?
have you fed God's word to the sheep entrusted to your care (Ez 34:14)?
have you helped God's sheep rest (Ez 34:15)?
have you disciplined fat sheep who have not handled with care spiritual food intended to be shared with other sheep -- thereby leaving these other sheep hungry, malnourished or weak (Ez 34:16-19)?
have you, with words, attitudes or actions, injured God's sheep ("pushed with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with horns") (Ez 34:21)?
have you been remembered that God will judge you, as His sheep, according to you words, attitudes and actions (Ez 34:20,22)?
have you remembered that you are a shepherd of God's sheep, under Christ, the Great Shepherd (Ez 23:23-24,28-31)?
have you kept at bay people who keep on injuring or intend to hurt God's sheep, so that the latter may dwell securely in the wilderness (Ez 34:25,28)?
have you broken the bars of the yoke imposed by people who enslave God's sheep (Ez 34:27)?
have you avoided quarrels and been kind to everyone (2 Tim 2:24)?
have you patiently endured evil (2 Tim 2:24)?
have you corrected your opponents with gentleness (2 Tim 2:25)?
have you prayed that God would grant your opponents repentance, greater knowledge of the truth, the gift of coming to their senses and the heart to escape the snare of the devil after being captured by him to do his will (2 Tim 2:26)?
have you watched your own walk before God and your teaching (Ac 20:28, 1 Tim 4:16)?
have you noticed occasions of reproaches agains you (1 Tim 3:2)?
have you noticed any habits, relationships and sexual temptations adversely affecting your love of and marriage to your spouse (1 Tim 3:2)?
have you been sober with respect to alcohol consumption (1 Tim 3:2,3)?
have you been self-controlled in various areas of life (e.g. eating, working, entertainment, sports, studying, serving others) (1 Tim 3:2)?
have you been gentle with words, attitudes and actions (1 Tim 3:2)?
have you noticed in your life any noteworthy misuse of time or effort spent handling, making, saving, and planning for family or personal money (1 Tim 3:3)?
have you managed your own household well (1 Ti 3:4)?
have you spent regular time meditating on the scriptures (1 Tim 4:13)?
have you exercised hospitality (1 Tim 3:2)?
have you set a godly example for believers in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity (1 Tim 4:12, Heb 13:7, 1 Pet 5:3)?
have you focused on the ministry of the word (Ac 6:2,4)?
have you shepherded the flock entrusted to them (1 Pet 5:2)?
have you exhorted people (1 Tim 4:13)?
have you encouraged old and young (1 Tim 5:1)?
have you watched over the flock untrusted to them by God (Ac 20:28,31, 1 Tim 3:1-2, Heb 13:17, 1 Pet 5:2)?
have you prayed and layed hands on disciples of Christ commissioned for a task (Ac 6:4,6, 1 Tim 4:14, 5:22)?
have you prayed for the sick and anoint them with oil (Jas 5:14)?
have you preached and taught what the Bible says (Ac 20:27, 1 Tim 3:2, 4:11, 4:13, 5:17)?
have you interpreted the Bible, with authority, when diverging opinions arise on the Bible (Ac 15:6,7,15,19-23)?
have you taught disciples of Jesus to observe what Jesus has commanded (Mat 28:20)?
have you commanded Jesus' disciples to obey the Bible (1 Tim 4:11, 5:7, 5:17, 5:21, Heb 13:17, 1 Pet 5:5)?
have you provided practical guidelines on how to care for people (Ac 6:2-4)?
have you prepared yourself to give an account to God for souls under your care (Heb 13:17)?