Read 1 Peter 5:1-4."Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care...."NIV
Peter is appealing here to the elders among the scattered Christians to lead as God has commanded. What does it mean to be a shepherd? The KJV uses "poimaino" which means: to rule, to nourish, to cherish one's body, to supply the requisites for the soul's needs. An "overseer" was to "look upon, inspect, care for."
We all experience leading others in some way -- in our jobs, our homes, our families.... But the leaders of a church carry a weighty responsibility that many of us don't understand. We tend to honor and revere political leaders. But elders aren't protecting life and property. They are not assuring that economies don't fall or jobs are not lost. Elders are protecting something far more valuable -- souls. It's a job that cannot be taken lightly, but with gravity and reverence. The example to be set for those they are shepherding must be above reproach and the accounting to the Father is strict. It is not a glorious position, but one successful with humility and due diligence. Money and fame are not the earthly or eternal reward. But they will receive their crown of glory in the end. And for those who have run the race well, it will be well deserved.
- Who are the OT leaders? What did they do well? What did some of them do poorly? What can we learn from them in leading God's people?
- Do you need to thank an elder for their work as your leader? Send a note today and encourage them. The responsibility is usually thankless. They could use your encouragement.