To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. – 1 Peter 5:1-4
Being an elder or pastor in the church is hard. You not only have to watch out for yourself, which is a full-time job, but you must also look after other souls. It can be exciting to share in a sinner’s restoration, but often it is painful and full of conflict. Lord, help pastors and elders everywhere not to shrink back from watching over the souls of others humbly and bravely. Give them clear truth to share. Truth that guides wandering souls back to your fold. Help them to be willing to say the hard thing and happy to share forgiveness freely when the moment comes for the sinner to be soothed with unconditional love and its sweet expressions. And remind them in their hearts that they will be encouraged and rewarded for their hard work when they enter their rest in your palace.
Pastor Don Patterson
If God did not leave his shepherds on earth we would all be lost forever.