So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.

I Peter 5:1-3

The Apostle Peter exhorts his fellow elders to serve along with him as shepherds of God’s people, who he calls “the flock of God.” He not only tells the elders what they are (shepherds) but how they are to shepherd, “exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly…not for shameful game… not domineering… but being examples.” There’s a lot there to unpack but suffice it to say that shepherding is an “other centered” task. It’s not to be a self-serving role by any means.

I pray that the Elders of HLPC see themselves first and foremost as shepherds. Shepherds provide oversight and direction along with loving care and concern.

Timothy Witmer in his helpful book, The Shepherd Leader, says that shepherding entails 4 areas of emphasis: 1) Knowing the people, 2) Feeding the people God’s Word by ensuring a faithful pulpit and teaching ministry, 3) Leading both by example and direction, and 4) Protecting the flock from false doctrine, divisive influences, and anything else that would harm the church.

This Saturday morning the Elders of HLPC are going to gather to review and refine our work as shepherds. We want to do a better job of caring for the flock here at HLPC. Shepherding God’s people requires constant attention.   There is always room for improvement and just when you think you’ve got a handle on it- you need to recommit yourself afresh to the task. Please pray for our time together that it will ultimately serve to make us a truly healthy church!