1 Peter 5:1-4

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:

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;

Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.

And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Shepherds take the flock to feeding places that are safe from predators and thorny plants that could hurt the sheep. This is too what it is like for a pastor. They lead their flock to the rich pastures. And they see to it that they are watered, wormed, and fed each day.

By night they sleep across the gate so that the sheep are safe from predators. Pastors are available for counsel. The guidance he gives is used in the perfecting of the saints. It is used to establish them in the Word. To strengthen them against temptations. And to settle them.

1 Peter 5: 10-11

10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Remember how Jesus said in John 21:

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

In each instance Christ admonishes Peter to feed his sheep. This feeding is a calling. There are so many things to teach. Each morsel is for admonition in the LORD. Jesus was calling Peter to be a shepherd of His flock along with all the duties, including feeding, health issues, getting them ready for market, and sheering. The pastor teaches scripture, prays for the sick, gets his flock ready for heaven and helps them to remove sin from their lives. By the time the sheep are shorn many have long wool that is taken off in one complete piece. This is symbolic of the fact that we are a new creature in Christ and the old has passed away.

See how Christ repeatedly asks, “Do you love me?” It is important for pastors to work out of love. This love permeates the heart. It is love for Christ and love for His sheep. It is love from a pure heart. The pastor’s motives are sincere.

Remember in the book of Jude:

20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:

23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Pastors are called to have compassion and make a difference. They are called to assist Christ. But it is He who keeps us from falling into sin. Just like a shepherd would pull a sheep out of harm’s way so a pastor is called to save the sheep. This may mean long hours of counselling and picking up the children when a parent is unable.

  1. James 1:27     

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Pastors are “religious” in the way the bible describes religion.