Summary: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them. - 1 Peter 5:2 Leaders in the body of Christ are called by many names in the New Testament. Overseers, Bishops, Deacons, Shepherds, Servants, Apostles, Teachers, Elders, and othe ..
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them. - 1 Peter 5:2
Leaders in the body of Christ are called by many names in the New Testament. Overseers, Bishops, Deacons, Shepherds, Servants, Apostles, Teachers, Elders, and other names are given. It is clear to anyone who reads the Bible that Jesus Christ taught that there were leaders and the early Apostles also taught these things to other Disciples in their day. There have always been bad examples of leadership throughout the Bible. Such leaders were the exception and not the rule. God works through spiritual leaders for the health and benefit of the body of Christ. When we think as believers that we can walk independent of such we are in a dangerous place in our Christian journey. If you ask the early believers if you could be a Christian and not be submitted under the authority of leaders in a local city Church, the answer would have been no! Of course we know that one can be saved and get into heaven without being in a Church, but overall it was looked upon as so essential that to refuse to be a part of the body of Christ was almost a sure sign that you were not a true Disciple.
One can say that they fellowship with other believers and this is good to do. But if we are not able to humble ourselves under another spiritual Shepherd in the Lord we are basically saying to the Lord, you will always have to talk to me yourself, I am not willing to learn and be watched over by your own body. Individuals who choose this road at times call it a wilderness experience where they are deepening their dependence on God alone. Though God did take the Apostle Paul through such a journey as a leader himself, this is not a doctrine in the New Testament and should not be the example for normal believers in the Lord. To say that we do not listen or admire any man but only the Lord is in direct opposition to the Scriptures that saw we need to learn from one another, submit to one another, serve one another. We have treated God's shepherds as famous speakers but really they are to be spiritually watching over the flock of God. We treat many modern shepherds as message bearers instead they should be bearing our very lives during the week in prayer and love. We have an almost opposite picture in the New Testament then modern evangelicalism where ministers where Fathers and not just Bible teachers. Of course Bible teaching is important and encouraged throughout the Epistles, even as a pre-requistie for a true leader.