So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1 Peter 5:1-4)
The Lord Jesus Christ is the chief Shepherd, and he has called the elders of the church to be his under-shepherds. In God's wisdom, there is a plurality of leadership. And, there are words for the heart of the elder: to be willing and eager; to be an example; and to look to Christ for the reward.
The people of LBC elected their first elders in 2009. Almost a year ago, based on this passage and others, we began to put in place a "shepherding plan." Shepherds are to know the flock, feed the flock, lead the flock, and guard the flock. God's grace is needed, as human elders are sinners too, never feeling adequate for the work. That is why it's good to pray for our elders!
- Pray for our elders: Danny Anderson, Richard Hostetter, Ed Holtz, Mike Mikkelson, and Bart Johnson. Pray for caring hearts, humble hearts, eager hearts.
- Knowing the flock: Pray for the elders as they initiate relationships with those who are part of their charge.
- Feeding the flock: Pray for the oversight of preaching and teaching throughout our church. Pray that the people of LBC will always be provided with green pastures of growth.
- Leading the flock: Pray for wisdom in the work of planning, oversight, decision-making, etc. Specifically, pray for God's grace upon our ministry planning process, taking place in November as we anticipate 2015.
- Guarding the flock: Pray that God will continue to protect our church from division, spiritual attack, and unhealthy teaching.
- Pray that our elders will look to Jesus as the chief Shepherd, humbled by the gospel, empowered by the Spirit, and following the loving example of Jesus.
- Begin praying now for future elders who will begin officer training this fall.