I’ve been meditating on and really been impacted by reading 1 Peter 5 lately. It began when I noted in another blog post about Inductive Bible study methods where I linked to an example on the Precept Ministries website.
I’ll be making several posts about what I see going on in this chapter of 1 Peter. For this post I want to note some observations about the role of pastors in the church based on this chapter.
In 1 Peter 5:2-4, we see how Peter sees the role of pastors and or leaders in the congregation. First, Peter calls pastors in the congregation: “Shepherds of the flock of God.” We know he probably gets this from the conversation he had with Jesus at the end of John when he was restored to the Apostolic circle, where Jesus admonished Peter, “Feed my sheep.” Then, in succession he lists how shepherds should interact with their congregation (among the flock).
They are to exercise oversight (provide leadership):
- not under compulsion
- but voluntarily
- according to the will of God
- nor for selfish (sordid) gain
- but eagerly
- not lording it over them
- but being examples to them
And when the Chief Shepherd appears these undershepherds will receive an unfading crown of glory.
My guess is the unfading crown of glory a reference to eternal life, not necessarily a literal crown. So it seems that when pastors shepherd the flock entrusted to them, they are to do so voluntarily, in accordance with the will of God, eagerly and not in a bosy way, but as examples to them, probably as servants.
One thing is for sure, more of us pastors need to listen to Peter about how to be shepherds of the flock of God.
What say you?