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 5:1-6
Give to your church those special men who will lead us like you would and who will truthfully watch over our souls. Give us men who will study deeply in your word and will labor hard to bring your truth to us in a way that makes us understand you and your ways. Give us men who will be brave enough to be your mouth piece to call us back when we stray, who will be loving enough to gently relocate our dislocated hearts, who will be self forgetful, humble and rather unconcerned about their compensation. Make them live out their lives in front of us in a way that preaches to us about the godliness and peace that you want for us. Make them eager to serve others and tireless in the their devotion to people. Help them to lead but not boss, to encourage but not flatter, to listen but still speak. Help them deflect praise with gratitude and to live for your acceptance alone. Give us shepherds who will feed us, care for us and help us make it to the finish line as believers. And give those same men, all the help, praise and strength they need to be the man you have chosen to lead others.
Thank God for the shepherds in your life. They are turned inside out for you.