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Serve God Well

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Shepherd the Flock

Peter charges the leaders of the churches to shepherd the flock among you. We must ask the question what does it mean to shepherd the flock. It is the idea of a shepherd caring for a flock of sheep. This would involve protecting, feeding, healing sicknesses, and devotes his life to them. So what does this look like in the context of shepherding the church?
First, protecting the sheep is done by showing the sheep where danger lye's. Sin is the predominate danger that many people in the church fall into. It is the shepherds job not only to communicate where the danger is, but also help those who fall into sins snare. This is done through preaching the word and counseling. It is not the shepherds job to judge the one caught in sin, but to help them escape.
Second, a shepherd should feed and water the flock. This is not done physically in most cases but spiritually. The shepherd is to make sure that the flock is getting the spiritual nourishment that they need. He doesn’t physically feed the sheep but makes sure they are in a healthy pasture. This is done by making sure their are programs and systems in place to deliver the nourishment. These are things like Sunday School, Dgroups, and other bible study opportunities.
Third is to heal the brokenness and sickness. When a sheep would get sick or break a leg, it was the shepherds responsibility to restore the health of the sheep. This is true for the leaders of the church. When people or families are hurting, it is our responsibility to bring comfort and help them heal. This is done by walking with them in the difficulties of life. This is visiting them in the hospital, sitting with a grieving family, helping them navigate marital issues. Simply put a good shepherd lives life with those in his church.
Finally, a shepherd is to devote his life to the congregation. This is done by the ministry of presence. Unlike any other profession, career or job a shepherd is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Ministry emergencies don’t just happen in normal business hours. They can happen at any time. It is the shepherds responsibility to go or make sure that it is being met. Another aspect is the 2:00 AM prayer sessions that a shepherd engages in when one of their members is struggling. It is certainly a calling that can only be substantiated by God! A person doesn’t seek this, they are called to it!

Three ways not to shepherd

Peter mentions three ways not to Shepherd. They are : Under Compulsion, for sordid gain, or lording it over them.
Under Compulsion
To lead under compulsion means to lead out of fear. When a pastor is leading out of fear of their deacon body or the power house within the church, they will not be leading as God intends. They should not be motivated by what one or two people may think or fear that they may cause trouble. A good shepherd works with the other leadership of the church, not in fear of the leadership.
Another aspect of leading under compulsion is being lazy. A shepherd should not have to be motivated by leadership and the congregation to work and do the job of a shepherd. A good shepherd should be motivated to give His very best to the church
Sordid Gain
A shepherd should not shepherd for the sake of getting rich. This would entail taking money from the church that is not equitable. It is the churches job to make sure that the shepherd is compensated equitably. You have heard the old saying that ministers should be humble and poor. They say it is your job to remain humble and our job to keep you poor.
Another way shepherds have sordid gain is by going from one church to another for a higher pay. It is not wrong to receive a higher pay by going to another church, but if that is the reason for leaving it is for sordid gain. Longevity in the pastorate is of tremendous value.
Lording it over them
This is a shepherd that leads like a dictator. It is their way or the highway. They see themselves as superior to those in the church and demand obedience. This is a prideful pastor.

Three ways to shepherd

Voluntarily, with eagerness, by example
Voluntary
A good shepherd should serve in the capacity that God calls them. They should not have to be coherst, but instead should willingly do what the Lord called them to do. They should have desire to shepherd.
With Eagerness
A good shepherd should appreciate the opportunity they have to shepherd a church. It is a privilege that they should wake up every day and be thankful to serve.
By Example
A good shepherd should never ask a member to do something that they have not done or are willing to do themselves. They should live out what they teach.

Good Church

Submission

1 Peter 5:5 NASB95
You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
A good church will be submissive to the shepherd. They do not make the calling of leadership difficult for the leaders that lead them. This means not attacking the ones that are in a leadership position. Instead seek to support the leadership of the church. Hebrews 13:17
Hebrews 13:17 NASB95
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
Understand that the shepherd has a responsibility for you and should seek for your best.

Humbleness

1 Peter 5:5–6 (NASB95)
You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
Church members are to consider one another before themselves. Many churches become unhealthy because they stir up trouble when they don’t get what they want.
Strong churches look out for others before themselves. This is a sign of spiritual maturity. They demonstrate that they are humbling themselves before the mighty hand of God. God rewards humility.

Trust in the Lord

1 Peter 5:7 NASB95
casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
When you are worried about something, take it to the Lord and cast your anxiety on Him. Do not hold it to yourself and let it consume you.
Do we trust in God to see us in our struggle. More than that do we trust that He cares. Even more than that do we trust that He has the power to deliver us? If we do, then cast your anxiety on Him.

Be Sober of Spirit

This means to be in control of yourself. Do not let anything or anyone control you. So many times we allow others to control us by convincing us to buy into their opinion rather than thinking for our selves.

Be Strong against the attacks of Satan

1 Peter 5:8–9 (NASB95)
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
We are constantly being bombarded with the ways of this world, Culturally, economically, politically, and even religiously. It is done with the division tactics. In all of the fore mentioned aspects Satan tries to attack by causing division in these areas.
He tries to get us bought into a world system that leads to death.
1 John 2:15–17 NASB95
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Have Hope in Christ

1 Peter 5:10 NASB95
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
This world that we live in will be a struggle. It will require suffering. We must remember this is not our final home. We have a future in heaven. God has called us to His eternal glory.
Even in this world Christ is establishing you with perfection, confirmation, and strength.
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