Monday, March 19, 2018

Shepherding God's Flock

1 Pet. 5 = Peter applies "sheep/shepherd" theme to the church.  Worked well.  Large part of their culture.

Because:  (1)  all are familiar with sheep and shepherds, and
               (2)  it easily transitions from literal to Metaphorical -( so ... people => sheep   leaders => shepherds)

BUT - to shepherd in Scripture is more than to lead, it = to Nurture - in addition to leading.
ie:  care for, rear, raise, bring up, encourage growth and development, promote well being

So... Psm. 23:1   Isa. 40:11   John 10:11   Acts 20:28-29

The Concept of Nurture:

Peter begins 1st. Pet. 5:1 - "to the elders among you".   So is this application to YOU?? 
Answer:  "elder" rules may not apply to you, but "shepherd" rules will apply to you!!  They apply to all believers, not just elders.

#1.  The Task is to Nurture
Not just for church leaders!!!   (same word in the Greek translates Pastor OR Shepherd)

#2.  The Need is Great - Mark 6:34
Church needs (a) positional shepherds
also               (b) PRACTICAL Shepherds

Text:  1 Pet. 5:1-4

#1.  Be Shepherds = "DO IT!!"   
all but the youngest among us have .....
    a)  Shepherding skills  (capabilities)
    b) Shepherding opportunities - examples:  AWANA, Bible Time, Day Camp, etc.  Sunday School, Sunday Night!!

#2.  Of God's Flock - (text = congregation?)
BUT "flock" may be more than that.  Mark 6:34 - whole crowd?  all, not just believers
                                                        John 10:16 - Gentiles
Can lead people to Christ and then shepherd them.   OR  can shepherd people to Christ!!!  (your care can lead to their conversion!)

#3.  That is Under your Care 
Point here is not under your authority, but = under your care  (responsibility)

Couple with #4 (vs. 3)  those entrusted to you.
Entrusted .... By God .... to you. 
On one hand, not responsible for all sheep or all needs.
However, are responsible for some sheep and some needs.

#5.  Serving  
#6.  as Overseers - Servant Leader Position includes  (a)  menial task of service couples with (b) greater responsibility of oversight 

This = Biblical position of Under-shepherd  (often called "Pastoral Ministry")
combines - service and oversight
to offer - emotional, relational, spiritual support, Godly counsel, direction, instruction, (Christian) life skills, friendship!!!

#7.  being an example   
#8  eager to serve  (willing)  contrast willing to serve sheep with serve the Lord!!

The goal = Nurture for Edification  (build them up) - Matt. 4:19

The reward - 1 Pet. 5:4
Jer. 3:14-15 - implies ... (1) developing the flock (the sheep)
                      AND....  (2)  developing yourself!!!  - shepherding attitude.  Submitting to the Chief Shepherd.

Closing Scripture:  John 13:12-17    

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