The Shepherd • 1 Peter 5:1-4
1. Today is special in the life of our church because we ordain 2 men as pastors: Christ Vanoli & Noel Duldulao.
2. Chris, as you know, has been our worship leader for 7 yrs.
a. He oversees all the tech support that goes into that; the PA, projection & video
b. He also oversees facilities upkeep, repair & maintenance. Chris oversaw the recent remodel.
c. He’s also been doing more teaching lately; His giftedness there is obvious.
3. So it’s time for us to recognize God’s call on Christ to join the team of pastors here at Calvary.
4. Noel has attended CCO for nearly 20 yrs, & been an active partner in ministry for the last 10.
a. Noel’s is from the PI. He & his family have a great burden to plant a CC in Laoag City in NW Luzon.
b. They’ve taken several extended trips there and God has formed a good core to start.
c. So Noel leaves here on the 2320th to move there and pastor CC Laoag.
d. We’re ordaining him & sending him out.
5. Because of that, I want to speak to these 2 about what it means to be a pastor. I invite you to listen in.
6. It’s important you know what a pastor is called by God to be & do.
7. It’s like when people go to a wedding.
a. The minister speaks to the bride in groom in preparation to exchange their vows.
b. But as the guests listen in, they’re reminded of what marriage is about & of their role as a husband or wife.
c. So listen in now as I speak to Chris & Noel.
II. 1 PETER 5:1-4
1. Peter, leader of the apostles, passes on to the leaders of the church, the distilled essence of what God’s called them to do.
1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
2. Elders were men, who by reason of maturity & gifting had proven to be good leaders.
a. Following them meant progress & growth.
b. You can always tell who the leaders are; people follow them.
3. In 1 Tim. 2:12, the Apostle Paul makes it clear that God calls certain MEN to lead His Church.
a. While there may be, hopefully are, lots of mature men & women with a solid spiritual life who are good examples of what it means to follow Jesus –
b. There still needs to be some leaders, & among these, one who leads the leaders; a first among equals.
4. In Acts 14 we read that before Paul left one of the new churches he planted, he appointed elders who could carry on the task of leading them.
5. In Titus 1:5, Paul tells Titus to be sure to appoint elders in the churches on the island of Crete where Titus served as the lead elder.
a. He then gave Titus a list of qualifications for elders;
b. Things that marked them as capable of leading a local church.
6. It’s interesting Peter reminds them he’s an apostle; he was one of those original disciples who’d seen Jesus crucified & risen.
a. But he doesn’t play that as a trump card & claim special privilege.
b. On the contrary, he calls himself a “fellow elder” – a first among equals.
c. Being an elder of elders, a leader of leaders, he distills their calling to its essence = v. 2
Shepherd the flock of God
7. Do the work of a shepherd, a pastor = same thing; it’s one who tends sheep.
a. In this case, the sheep are people and the flock belongs to God.
b. A local church is like a flock of sheep & elders are shepherds, pastors.
8. In the NT, 3 words are used for the same ministry: Elder, Pastor, and Bishop or overseer.
a. Elders refers to his character; he’s a mature, spiritually, emotionally & relationally.
b. Bishop/Overseer is his office; it refers to his spiritual authority.
c. Pastor reveals his duty; it describes what he does & how he does it.
1) This word is used often of leaders in the church because it well describes what they’re to be about.
2) A shepherd of sheep has 3 responsibilities. To . . .
a) Lead the flock,
b) Feed the flock, &
c) Protect the flock.
3) Everything he does falls under 1 of those 3 tasks.
d. The pastor of God’s flock is called to . . .
1) Lead people by the vision God’s given him for them.
2) Feed them on a healthy diet of God’s Word – all of it.
a) In Acts 20, as Paul met with the Ephesians elders for the last time,
b) He reminded them that for the 3 yrs he’d spent with them, he’d faithfully taught thru the Scriptures – the whole counsel of God.
c) The good pastor will be sure to feed his flock a steady diet of God’s Word, not just inspirational talks, entertaining speeches, or comedy routines.
d) He will feast his people on a rich fare of the whole Bible. Anything else will leave them famished.
3) And the pastor is called to Protect the people, both from external threats; predators who lurks round the edge to sneak in & rip off the flock, & from the internal threats of spiritual disease & strife.
9. As Peter penned the words, “Shepherd the flock of God.” You just know he flashed back to that intimate moment with Jesus on the shore of Galilee.
a. This is after Jesus resurrection. But before the Day of Pentecost when everything changed for them.
b. It had been a while since Jesus had appeared to them in Jerusalem so Peter got bored and said, “I’m going home & going back to fishing.”
c. His old fishing partners agreed & went with him.
d. A few days later, they’re out on the lake fishing as usual in the hours just before dawn because that’s when the fish rise to the surface to feed. But not this day. No fish fill their net.
e. Discouraged, they make for shore and notice a little fire. They can see a figure standing there.
f. A voice reaches out to them across the water. “Have you caught anything?” “No.”
g. “Drop your nets on the right side of the boat.” He says. They do, and immediately the net is so full they can barely haul it in.
h. John whispers to Peter, “That’s gotta be Jesus!” So Peter, dives over the side and swims to shore to see.
i. Sure enough, it’s Him. Once the catch is secure and the boat is beached, Jesus tells them to bring a couple of the fish to the fire where He cooks them breakfast.
j. As they sat round the fire, Jesus turns it into a teachable moment.
k. 3 yrs before near this same place, Jesus called Peter to leave his nets & become a fisher of men.
l. Peter assumes he’s forfeited that calling because of his denial of Jesus.
m. So Jesus walks him step by step thru restoration.
n. As they stare at the fire in silence, embarrassed they’d not stayed in Jerusalem as Jesus had told them, He finally speaks = to Peter > A question – “Pete, Do you love Me?”
1) At the last Supper the night Jesus was betrayed, Peter had promised his undying loyalty.
2) Then just a few hours later, he denied Him,. Not once or twice – but three times – just as Jesus foretold.
3) So now here on the shore of Galilee, it’s like Jesus collapsed the last few weeks down to a moment; they’re back in the earlier conversation when Peter pledged his unswerving devotion to Christ.
4) “Peter, do you love Me?” He replied, “Yes Lord; You know.” Jesus said – “Feed my lambs.”
5) The silence returns and no one dares speak. Then Jesus again asks, “Peter, do you love Me?” Peter answers with the same words as before, “Yes, Lord; You know how I love you.” Jesus said, “Tend My sheep.”
6) Again the silence comes & surely now Peter knows what’s up. His thrice spoken denial is being undone by Jesus’ thrice spoken affirmation of his call.
7) Sure enough, Jesus asks, “Peter, do you love Me?” And now Peter is undone and casts himself on Jesus. “Lord, you know everything about me.”
8) Indeed He does, & so Jesus says, “Feed my sheep.”
10. Chris & Noel, what Jesus said to Peter, He says to you. If you love Him, & I know you do, then love what He loves – He loves His church.
a. He’s given you the high call & special privilege of being a pastor of His flock.
b. So, lead, feed, and protect His people.
11. Note here in v. 2 you’re to be faithful in YOUR flock.
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you
a. Some pastors miss the flock they have, longing for what they don’t.
b. They neglect the people already following by going after those who aren’t.
c. Evangelism is important. WE want to see the lost come to faith in Christ. That’s God’s heart too.
d. But the pastor’s 1st duty is to take care of the people he has, the one’s God’s already given.
e. And here’s the thing: as the pastor faithfully leads, feeds and protect the flock, they do the work of evangelism.
f. Healthy sheep make sheeplets = lambs. It’s just what healthy sheep do.
g. So people who are well led, fed, and taken care of will grow, tell others, & win the lost. It just happens!
12. He goes on in v. 2 –
serving as overseers,
a. That seems an oxymoron. Pastors are to “slave as masters.”
b. Overseer was a title of position. It’s the guy in charge. He has authority & is above, looking down.
c. That is in fact what a leader is & does. To lead, a leader has to have authority.
d. God gives pastors both authority, the RIGHT to lead, & power, the ABILITY to lead.
e. But Jesus had made it clear w/the disciples that among His people, leaders lead by serving, not lording.
f. The authority of a leader is used to bless others , not to demand other bless the leader.
g. In the world, the mentality of leaders is, I rule, so you obey & do my bidding so I can advance.”
h. In the Kingdom of God, the mentality of leaders is, “I serve so you can advance.”
i. The leader’s service is leading always and only that à
1) God is glorfied, & 2) Others are bvlessed.
j. The leader is a servant & the bottom line for a servant is this: They live to make the lives of other’s better.
13. So Chris & Noel, as pastors, you are called to BE servants, not to just serve your flock.
a. Some men serve but embrace the call to be a servant.
b. They serve, but only in the hope others will see the example, and take on the chore, so they don’t have to anymore.
c. They serve because it’s something to check off the task list of ministerial obligations.
d. No. As a pastor YOU ARE A SERVANT! Be one. DO what a servant does – serve; gladly, joyously!
e. Take delight in simple & humble things.
f. Jesus showed the way here by washing the disciples feet.
g. Stay humble and do humble things. Delight in them.
14. I’ve been to churches where the premium parking spots closest to the church door were reserved for the pastor & his wife. That’s not a servant’s mindset. That’s why we ask our staff to parkl across the street on Sundays, and even during the week, leave the spaces by the door for others. Leaders are servants of all.
15. Peter goes on –
not by compulsion but willingly,
a. Don’t pastor because you have to but because you get to.
b. It’s a great honor to pastor a church. It’s the best gig there is.
c. The pastor’s work produces a lasting result. He builds people for eternity. He shapes souls.
d. In John 15 Jesus said what glorifies God is bearing fruit that remains. Well – what other vocation produces more lasting results than leading & feeding the flock of God?
16. As a pastor, you will be a part of people’s lives at their most important moments. It’s amazing what comes after someone says to you, “Pastor -“
- Thank you for that message, I really needed to hear that today.
- My mother just died.
- We’re going to have a baby.
- We’re moving away.
- We’re going to be going to another church.
- The tests don’t look good & the doctor says I’ve only got a few months. Will you pray w/me?
- My husband just left me.
- Thanks for being there when I needed you.
- I think God’s calling me to be a pastor. What do I do next?
What other career gets to be so intimate a part of people’s lives?
17. [Friday: wrote out notes, then went to type up on computer. Checked email to find this. From the wife of a couple who attended here years ago – Jim & Kathy Botsford]
This afternoon I was meditating about the journey the Lord has taken us on during the course of our marriage due to some life change events and transitions we’ve been experiencing lately. Wanted to express our gratitude to CCO for the Gospel investment you made in our lives.
About 20 years ago, my Jim and I attended your fellowship in the old church building. There my husband fell in love with studying the bible, the fellowship of godly men, and serving God simply. We attended the Crider’s home group in Oxnard on Sunday evenings. It was our date night. Though Jim was respected and accomplished in the aviation community, his only true aspiration was to serve the Lord, love his family, work as unto the Lord and serve in whatever practical way the church needed, including hosting a home fellowship. Looking back, I can see God has been faithful to fill that simple desire of his heart.
Jim and I serve in our local CC in Howard County, Maryland. Jim attends weekly prayer, Men’s Bible study and helps set-up church on Sunday. I help with women’s ministry and hospitality. We have the opportunity to engage with a young couple who are stepping onto the path at about where we were when we met the Criders.
Other foundation stones laid for us at CCO were –
- Jeff Brown’s teaching on stewardship when the church was facing the commitment to the building project still influences how we make our financial decisions…
- Jim still shouts “Yeah! Buddy!” when he’s particularly moved by something the pastor says. [We encouraged people to be active listeners & express their joy when the Spirit speaks to them.]
- On several occasions Jim has encouraged pastors with whom he’s served to start a “spiritual boot camp” & to know “the state of their flocks” and have a personal investment in the early discipleship of new believers.
- We both are invested in promoting the importance of making annual spiritual retreats a priority because of the impact that we saw while in your fellowship.
We were not saved at CCO, but much of what is fundamental in our walk was imparted during our time there. I guess the point might be that we can’t always see the fruit of our ministry because the wind has picked up the seed and blown it to take root and flourish somewhere else. We know the fruit of CCO is abounding to the glory of God in places all over the world!
You are continually in our prayers! In His service, Jim & Kathy Botsford
18. Chris & Noel: If the Lord tarries & you have the years to invest in the lives of people as their pastor – You’ll get a letter like that & you will know your life has counted for something.
19. Peter goes on à
not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
a. While the workman is worthy of his wire, no man ought to see being a pastor as just a job; to earn a paycheck, to pay his bills so he can do what he really wants to do à Play gold, race cars, smoke cigars, whatever.
b. Leading, feeding, and protecting God’s flock is what ought to float your boat, ring you bell, make you come alive!
c. If you watch the clock & calculate your ministry by how much you make per hour, you’re a hireling, not a pastor.
d. Now – I want to be clear: Of course you need balance. Noel, you’re single. Christ, you’re married and have a family. You can’t sacrifice them for the ministry. If you do, you’ll lose the ministry.
e. Your effectiveness as a pastor derives from the health of your personal & family life.
f. But if you’re called to BE a pastor, it’s while leading, feeding, & protecting the flock you’ll be most alive.
g. People will see it, including your family. And they will love & respect you all the more for it.
20. Then in v. 3 Peter says –
nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
a. Again, you’re a servant, not a lord. // So – Don’t let people exalt you. // They will try.
b. Because God speaks & loves them thru you, they will be blessed. In appreciation some will want to elevate you and give you a special place. // Don’t take it.
c. Remember who you are! Not only are you a shepherd; you’re also a sheep!
d. Be a good one! And remind people you too are part of God’s flock. That you are growing right alongside them.
e. Yes, maybe you are a little further ahead, but you too are in process; being conformed to the image of Christ.
f. Be open, transparent, available. Don’t sequester yourself behind the curtain, only to come out, do your pastoral thing, then disappear.
21. Peter ends in v. 4
and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
a. There’s a special reward for faithful pastors.
b. The one Who gives it is the Chief Shepherd = Jesus.
c. In John 10, Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd who knows His sheep and leads them faithfully.
22. The pastor must always remember that the sheep aren’t his, they’re God’s; it’s HIS flock.
a. Jesus is the Chief, shepherd, they are but under shepherds.
b. Chris & Noel, we tend God’s flock for HIS glory, by His means to His ends – not ours!
c. We lead, feed & protect – we don’t sheer or fleece. // Mutton in not on our menu.
23. We will give account one day for what we’ve done w/every soul committed to our care.
1. There is so much more I need & want to say but there’s no time.
2. Chris & Noel have taken classes preparing for their ministry & now it’s time to ordain them.
3. Please understand, our laying hands on them does not make them pastors. Only God can call a man to be a pastor.
4. What we’re doing is recognizing that call & affirming it by adding our voice to the already given leading of the Spirit.