Saturday, May 26, 2012

The 8-Fold Exhortation of Peter to Preachers

1Pe 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Peter is speaking as one elder to other elders. The word "elder" means "presbyter" which refers not only to those who are advanced in age, but advanced in the work of the Lord. These exhortations are to senior pastors of the churches.

Problems precipitate policy. It could be that there were those elders who were negligent, possibly even abusive, in their ministry with their congregations. Peter calls on those elders to feed and lead their flocks effectively and with the proper motivation.

He invites them to:
1. Feed the Flock
2. Take the Lead
3. Not because you HAVE GET to!
4. Feed and Lead willingly. Be thankful for the ministry God has entrusted to you.
5. Don't do it for money! The benefits for ministry are "out of this world!" God's paychecks for preachers are far superior to what any congregation could afford and His paydays are really something toward which to work.
6. Keep your mind sharp, willing and ready. As Paul said, be instant in season, out of season.
7. Do not lord it over the flock. They are not to be subjugated to condescending clergy. They need to be led, not driven.
8. Be an example. In Timothy, the preacher is told to be an example in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (I Tim 4:12)

We all have our ideas of what a preacher should be. We tend to concern ourselves with their personalities, their preaching styles, their work habits, financial dealings, people skills, even their recreational choices. But a good pastor, who meets the qualifications of I Timothy 3 and Titus 1, must concern himself with feeding and leading the flock of God with the proper motivation and example.

Once a Christian is an active member of the church in which they know God wants them to serve, they must pray for, support and work along side that God-called, servant-leader, their elder/presbyter/bishop/pastor.

Oh, and about that payday for the pastor, when your Pastor, the Chief Shepherd comes to take us to our new Church in heaven, you will receive a crown of glory that will never tarnish.

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