“And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: 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. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.” 1 Peter 5:1-4 NLT
The word "Elders" here refers to those placed by God as overseers of a flock (Pastors). What an awesome responsibility to be given - to lead a congregation of believers. I have said before that there is no greater responsibility in the world. Pastors get to preach and teach the Word of God, lead people to Christ, baptize believers, dedicate children to God, challenge parents to rear their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, officiate marriage ceremonies, conduct memorial services, visit hospitals, and the list goes on.
Peter said that he was a fellow Elder and an eye witness to the suffering of Jesus. He states that there will be glory to share in Jesus when He is revealed to the world. This encourages us to keep our eyes on Him and His coming kingdom. Peter instructs the fellow Elders to feed (instruct in the word, care for) the flock. He reminds overseers to do their services willingly and without the motive of monetary compensation. Overseers are to be eager to serve God genuinely. They are to be examples to their flocks. Paul said this to Timothy (a young apprentice in the ministry) - “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him,” 1 Timothy 1:12 NLT Indeed, it is the highest honor to serve the Lord in ministry. Jesus said this about those who are the leaders - “The greatest among you must be a servant.” Matthew 23:11 NLT Jesus said this about Himself - “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”” Matthew 20:28 NLT Jesus is our greatest example of a servant overseer. He was God who became a man, to die in our stead, and to redeem us from sin. He taught us what leadership looks like. We, as overseers, aren't CEO's that sit in an office and tell everyone else what to do. We are servants of the Most High God and it behoves us to understand the grace He has shown to us. In turn, we are to gracefully lead those placed under our charge. People don't care what we know until they know we care.
Rev. Curtis Norris