6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: 1) What are the issues in shepherding? 2) Who must be shepherded? 3) How must shepherding be done? 4) Why should shepherds serve?

According to several confirmed sources across denominational lines:

Today: in regards to: Pastors:

-Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches.

-Four thousand new churches begin each year, but over seven thousand churches close.

-Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.

-Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.

-Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.

-Ninety percent said the hardest thing about ministry is dealing with uncooperative people.

Pastors’ Wives:

-Eighty percent of pastors’ spouses feel their spouse is overworked.

-Eighty percent of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.

-The majority of pastor’s wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.

Pastors’ Marriages:

-Fifty percent of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.

Pastors’ Children:

-Eighty percent of adult children of pastors surveyed have had to seek professional help for depression.

These statistics came from across denomination lines, and have been gleaned from various reliable sources such as Pastor to Pastor, Focus on the Family, Ministries Today, Charisma Magazine, TNT Ministries, Campus Crusade for Christ and the Global Pastors Network. Sited at: http://maranathalife.com/lifeline/stats.htm

Perhaps at this point your thought is I’m glad I’m not a pastor, or they only work one hour a week, what are they complaining about? It should be pretty obvious from our study of 1 Peter, that godly regard for authority all ties together. How we regard Elders, Government, employers or household authority, all relates to what we think of God. But, as we will see, it relates even more so for members of the local church.

What’s your thought of the ministry? Do these statistics surprise you? Pastoral ministry has changed so much that it would be unrecognizable to pastors 50-60 years ago, and it’s hard to fathom for those retiring from the ministry now.

What do you think a pastor should be responsible for? How should a pastor minister to the flock of God? Why should he do what he does? What difference does it make to me?

Peter, writing to the elders of various churches in Asia Minor (1:1) and to church and elders of all eras, issues several fundamental and crucial commands concerning shepherding. Those commands may be understood by asking four basic questions of this passage: 1) What are the issues in shepherding? 2) Who must be shepherded? 3) How must shepherding be done? 4) Why should shepherds serve?


1 Peter 5:1-2a [5:1]So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: [2]shepherd…

Chapter 5 of 1 Peter is actually an application of admonitions, exhortations and personal greetings based on what has been written in the previous four chapters. The next time I preach will be the last message in 1 Peter and this and that last message, apply what Peter has written.

Exhort (parakaleô) means literally “to call alongside,” or in the general sense, “to encourage or compel someone in a certain direction.” Here Peter directs the appeal to the elders, who are the Lord’s appointed and gifted leaders of the church.

The first mention of elders is in Acts 11:30, where the writer Luke identifies them as the leaders of the Jerusalem church. Subsequent references in Acts (14:23; 15:4, 6, 22, 23; 16:4; 20:17; 21:18) continue to make clear their role.

Look at the insert in your bulletin for today

The early church broadly adopted a similar model (cf. Acts 2:42–47; 6:4), appointed a plurality of godly and gifted men to lead, guard, and feed each local congregation (cf. Titus 1:5).

Titus 1:5 [5]This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you-- (ESV)

Please turn to Hebrews 13

Peter referred to himself as a fellow elder. It was neither Christ’s nor his intention for a supreme pontiff, or pope to follow from him.

-The head of the church is not Peter, nor elders/pastors etc. but Christ. We will see this most clearly when Christ will be referred to as the Chief Shepherd.

The task of the shepherd carries with it an unequalled responsibility before the Lord of the church (Heb. 13:17; cf. 1 Cor. 4:1–5).

Hebrews 13:17 [17]Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (ESV)

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