The Privileged Perspective
November 15, 2023
Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. 1 Peter 5:2-3 NLT
The word “pastor” was originally used very differently than in our current usage. It means “shepherd,” so if someone was a pastor, he or she cared for a flock. The pastor was responsible for the care, feeding, and safe keeping of the flock under his or her care.
That understanding leads us to see that anytime God gives us people, entrusts us with responsibility for them, we are pastors for them. He wants us to shepherd them with great responsibility and care.
Peter’s words to leaders in the first century church speak directly to us as we have responsibility for the next generation. Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. The young ones in your life are your flock. You are their shepherd, their pastor. This little flock has been given you by God. He trusts you to do this well.
Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. This is not a job to do resentfully or grudgingly, just praying for the day they hit eighteen and can leave home. It’s a responsibility to cherish and take on willingly because you know this is your high service to God. As Andy Stanley says, “The greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.”
Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. Stay away from arrogant and “because I’m the parent” attitudes that too often become our default positions when we parent. We and they both need to know that we do what we do because it is right, and we are serving Jesus. Again, our own example is the best teacher. Don’t expect promises to be kept if you don’t keep yours. Don’t expect tempers to be controlled unless you control yours. Don’t expect them to develop a great relationship with Jesus just because you send or even take them to church. They are absorbing who you are, and they get their information from you. They are researching how you do it every single day, and their minds are better computers than you can imagine.
You are a pastor/shepherd. Watch over your flock well.
- Oh, Good Shepherd—as You shepherd my heart, help me grow more and more like You to shepherd my own flock.