To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. (1 Peter 5:1–4, NIV 1984).
My Musings – I’ve been on a “staycation” this week, de-compressing after a couple of hectic months at work. Today I watched an episode of my favorite TV show (Combat!) from when I was a kid growing up in the early sixties. A WWII drama series. The closing lines from the episode kind of resonated with me. It went something like this. “It all boils down to this. We care for each other. The first time someone shoots at you, you lose your command and become family.”
I am an elder at my church, but it is less about command than it is about family. Even if no one is “shooting” at you. But you don’t have to be a pastor or an elder to experience this. We all have people in our lives (children, employees, people we are discipling, etc.) where we are, in a sense, in command. In leadership. But if we are doing things right, we do not “Lord it over them,” we serve. Because in any relationship, we need to care for each other, no matter where we are in the “hierarchy.”
My Advice – As members of the body of Christ, we should have been caring for one another all along. But in recent years, as the figurative shooting has intensified against those who follow the Word, our caring for each other should also intensify. It is a comforting feeling to know that others have your “six.” Let’s make sure they also know that we have theirs too.