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. 1 Peter 5:1-4 NKJV
- The Crown of Glory
- The Crown of Glory is awarded to pastors and elders, who have been faithful ministers of the Gospel.
- The Crown of Glory is for all those who are called of God, who have obeyed God in their calling and who have faithfully served His people.
- Ephesians 4:11-13 NKJV – 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some
pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
- God has called some people to be in full-time ministry. He has called others to serve in a “ministry of helps” capacity.
- 1 Corinthians 12:28 KJV – And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
- Shepherds of the flock.
- 1 Peter 5:2 says that the people belong to God—they are His sheep; His flock—and do not belong to any man. Jesus is the Chief Shepherd and we are all under-shepherds, who answer directly to Him. When He comes, He will award the Crown of Glory to the shepherds who carried out their responsibilities diligently and in a spirit of love and truth.
- As ministers of the gospel, we are responsible to diligently tend the flock of God; nurturing, guarding and guiding them.
- Ministers must have a good attitude about their calling. The Lord wants you to do it willingly— not by coercion or constraint; not because you have to, or are forced to—do it because you want to do it; do it because you want to please God! That is how God wants it.
- Never minister to God’s people out of a money motive or because of any other selfish reason. Do not calculate what you can get out of it. The AMP says that we should not be dishonourably motivated by the advantages and profits belonging to the office. What we should do is be spontaneous, be cheerful, and be eagerly happy to serve.
- Ministers are in a place of leadership, but 1 Peter 5:3 says that you should never use that authority to dominate others. Never be arrogant, dictatorial, or overbearing and do not bossily tell others what to do.
- Rather, be a good example to the flock; to the congregation. You can be both firm and kind, tenderly showing them the way. Be a pattern and model of Christian living. Live what you believe and practice what you preach!
- Work Together to Build the Kingdom of God.
- Everyone has their part to do. Leaders are to lead in the Spirit of Christ and the flock is to respect and work with the leadership that the Lord has placed over them.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:12-14 AMP – 12 Now also we beseech you, brethren, get to know those who labor among you [recognize them for what they are, acknowledge and appreciate and respect them all]—your leaders who are over you in the Lord and those who warn and kindly reprove and exhort you.
13 And hold them in very high and most affectionate esteem in [intelligent and sympathetic] appreciation of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we earnestly beseech you, brethren, admonish (warn and seriously advise) those who are out of line [the loafers, the disorderly, and the unruly]; encourage the timid and fainthearted, help and give your support to the weak souls, [and] be very patient with everybody [always keeping your temper].
- We do the work, but God is still in charge. He is the boss and He pays the wages!
- 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 AMP – 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God [all the while] was making it grow and [He] gave the
increase. 7 So neither he who plants is anything nor he who waters, but [only] God Who makes it grow and become greater. 8 He who plants and he who waters are equal (one in aim, of the same importance and esteem), yet each shall receive his own reward (wages), according to his own labor.
9 For we are fellow work- men (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God’s building.
- Give it ALL you’ve got, but don’t try to do it in your own strength! Lean on the Lord—He will empower you with superhuman energy!
- Colossians 1:28-29 AMP – 28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One). 29 For this I labor [unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.
- The Reward of Your Labor.
- 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 AMP – 57 But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose].
- Hebrews 6:10 AMP – For God is not unrighteous to forget or overlook your labor and the love which you have shown for His name’s sake in ministering to the needs of the saints (His own consecrated people), as you still do.
- 1 Peter 5:4 says that when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
- The Greek word for “crown” is stephanos, which is the crown awarded at the games. It was made of olive or laurel and soon faded. The Crown of Glory, which the Lord will give to His under-shepherds, is eternal and will outlast the ages.