Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Shepherd the Flock

1 Peter 5.2-4

Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

The Story: God has established shepherds in the Church for the work of equipping the saints, so that the saints can do the work of ministry that builds up the Body of Christ (Eph. 4.11-16). Shepherding is a very distinct function, the disciplines of which Jesus outlined in John 10 and practiced throughout the course of His ministry. Church leaders are not free to lead any way they choose. The latest methods imported from the worlds of business or education are no match for the work of shepherding when it comes to building-up the flock of God. One of the primary tools of a shepherd is his personal example of grace and sanctification. Church leaders serve selflessly in shepherding the flock, seeking only the benefit of their members and the nurture of the Body as a whole. God provides their needs, and He does so through the gifts of His people, in the first instance. But the true shepherds of a flock serve after the example of our Lord Himself, and it is His blessing and glory they anticipate receiving as a result of their continued faithfulness in ministry.

The Structure: If churches were more communities led by shepherds than organizations managed by program directors, we would see the world paying more attention. Just as in Acts 6, when the shepherds of that flock led them to care for one another in a generous and selfless manner, provoking a huge response from erstwhile skeptics and critics, so today, if the churches were more like true flocks cared for and equipped by competent and loving shepherds, the watching world would really have something to see.

Does your church have a ministry of shepherding? Is that ministry led by the kind of people Peter describes?

Each week’s studies in our
Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Living the Glory: 1 Peter 5,” simply click here.

T. M. Moore

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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