Summary: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see Peter, who was a disciple of Jesus, writing to church leaders as to what their responsibilities were.
Intro: Bernard Brown is the president of Kennestone Regional Health Care System in Georgia. And he talked @ once working in a hospital where a patient knocked over a cup of water, which spilled on the floor by the patient’s bed. The patient was afraid he might slip on the water if he got out of bed, so he asked a nurse to mop it up. The patient didn’t know it, but the hospital policy said that small spills were the responsibility of the nurse’s aid while large spills were to be mopped up by the hospital’s housekeeping staff.
-The nurse’s aid decided the spill was a large one so she called the housekeeping department. The housekeeper arrived and said the spill was a small one and she wouldn’t clean it up. So they sat there and argued w/one another whether it was a large spill or a small one.
-The patient sat in his bed amazed at the argument. So he took a pitcher of water from his night table and poured the whole thing on the floor. Then he said, “Is that a big enough puddle now for you two to decide?”
-Responsibility is a funny thing. We all act like we want it, but a lot of times when it comes time to step up to the plate we don’t. Or we don’t have a clue as to what our responsibilities are.
-We’re continuing our series on “DNA…The Genetic Makeup of VillageChurch.” And our focus is going to be on the responsibility of leadership at VillageChurch. More specifically, my responsibility as the pastor of this church. I think it’s important we cover this so that you’ll know where I’m coming from as a leader at VillageChurch.
-Over the past couple of months we’ve had a huge growth spurt at VillageChurch and I want those of you who’ve been here for a while to be refreshed on what the role of the pastor is, and for those of you who are new to VillageChurch, to know what to expect from the pastor at VillageChurch.
Sermon Idea: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see Peter, who was a disciple of Jesus, writing to church leaders as to what their responsibilities were. And it’s from this passage of Scripture (among others) that we can discover what the role of a pastor is supposed to be according to Scripture.
TEXT: 1 PETER 5: 2-4
Bckgrd: Peter addressed this letter to both Jewish and Gentile Xians in several different parts of the Roman Empire. And these Xians were undergoing some severe stresses in their lives b/c of their faith. You have to remember this was a time of intense persecution against Xians. Nero was the Emperor of Rome. On 15 different occasions in this letter Peter speaks @ the sufferings they’re enduring.
-Leadership is always important. But it’s especially important during times of trial. Peter was concerned that the leadership in local churches be at its best b/c when trials and difficulties come, the people would come to the leaders for direction. With this in mind, we’ll see what the responsibilities of the pastor are to be.
-My 1st responsibility as a pastor is to:
DIV. 1: FEED THE FLOCK (v. 2)
Exp: As you read thru the Bible you’ll notice there are a lot of stories @ shepherds and sheep and it’s b/c it was a common job. Nomadic people tend to work w/some sort of livestock. Even today when you go out into the countryside of Israel, you’ll see shepherds carrying a staff, walking w/their sheep.
A. B/c of this it’s not unusual to see a lot of shepherd analogies being made. And one of the analogies that’s given in our text is that the leader of the church, the shepherd, is to feed the flock. The word “shepherd” means “to care for, to feed.”
1. Think @ what a shepherd would do, especially in an area like Israel. One of his primary jobs was to make sure he found food for the sheep to eat. One of the things you’ll notice @ Israel when you go there or see pictures of it, is that it’s a pretty arid place. You don’t see a whole lot of green in major parts of Israel. It’s pretty brown looking. About ½ of the country of Israel is desert.
a. That meant that a shepherd had to travel around w/his flock looking for places for them to graze so they’d be able to survive. Well, how does this analogy work w/the leadership of VillageChurch, or any church that for that matter? It gives me the 1st part of my job description which is that I’m supposed to make sure the flock has something to eat.
b. Before we go any further w/that, the question that has to be answered is “Who’s the flock?” The flock, the sheep, are the people who are followers of Christ; they are the people who make up the church. Jesus referred to His people, His followers as His sheep.