Summary: Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. - Acts 20:28 This verse gives a word picture of a large field with green lush grass and ..
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. - Acts 20:28
This verse gives a word picture of a large field with green lush grass and dotting the landscape is a multitude of sheep grazing the field. And there stands the Shepherd with rod and staff looking over the flock. Paul the Apostles sober warning left them all in tears as "they all wept" (Acts 20:37). I remember being on the phone with a leader of a small network of house churches, this brother was one that had a true burden and sense of the need for leadership in the body of Christ. He read this verse to me with much emotion and emphasis. I took away from my conversation with this man that God himself calls people to "be shepherds" and that the flock of God cannot survive without them! Paul was encouraging this group of Overseer's to be mindful and unified in their perspective and to understand that is "the flock" they are ministering and protecting. We sometimes think of the Church as or own responsibility but it is a shared responsibility amongst all true Shepherd leaders in the body of Christ. It is one body, one flock, one people. It is also "all the flock" meaning that every person is important, it is not about the whole but about each person to care after and ensure all are loved and discipled. To be a Christian leader is a calling from God and should be undeniable. It is not being greedy after position but a desire in your heart to teach, disciple and lead God's people.
One of the main callings of Shepherds is to protect the flock. Paul carries on this example to the Elders there before him pleading with them of wolves who will not spare God's flock. Many early Church believers after the Apostles taught that all heresy and error came from within the Church and not without. Paul the Apostle says here, "from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:30). All false teachers start off as true believers who hold to the truth, yet slowly they start to distort and veer away from what is right. In the end a false teacher is never happy to submit to God's order and his leadership and will desire to draw people away to themselves to their own ideas. God always has those he has called to love the body of Christ, to not seek after money (Acts 20:33) or honour but to edify and protect God's people (1 Peter 5:2). When we humble ourselves under such true godly leadership we find ourselves in a safe place of care. It is in this place where we can grow and be fruitful in our calling and purpose in the Lord.