Summary: The Role, Responsibilities, and Reward for Pastors or anyone who has a sphere of spiritual influence.
Serving God – 1Peter 5:1-4
Intro: 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.
- 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.
- 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
Introduction - These people knew a lot about sheep, so Peter uses this analogy and figure of speech that they could relate to. What Peter is saying is, first of all, is that God’s children are like sheep. Remember what the psalmist said, “We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” So, God’s people are like sheep. Now if God’s people are like sheep, the church is like a flock. Jesus said, “Fear not little flock.” So, the church is like a flock. Now, if the people are like sheep and the church is like a flock than the Pastor is like the shepherd. That is the duty of the Pastor, to shepherd the flock. Now, Jesus is the Chief Shephard to whom this shepherd will have to give an account to one day. That’s what Peter is telling us here in this passage.
Think about ourselves as sheep. It is really not all that complimentary, but the Lord calls us sheep. He could have been a little more complimentary and said we’re strong as horses, or perhaps as beautiful as a peacock, or maybe even as brave as a lion. But, He didn’t say that. He said that we are like sheep. Let me tell you a little bit about sheep. Sheep are wayward animals, as a matter of fact, they are kind of dumb. Have you ever heard of a trained sheep? You can train cats. You can train dogs. You can train a horse. Sheep just browse a little here, nibble a little there, and just keep on going. He doesn’t know how to get back to the flock unless the shepherd goes after him and brings him back. Sheep really are kind of dumb and kind of stupid and that’s the way the Lord characterizes us. We are His sheep.
Have you ever tried to get rid of a cat? You know, you take it out to the woods….they’ll come back. A dog will come back. A horse can find his way back to the stable again, but the ‘ol sheep…
The Sheep is not only wayward, but a sheep is weak. So, the sheep is wayward and the sheep is weak. The sheep has no way to protect himself. The horse can run, the mule can kick, the cat can scratch, the dog can bite. In the Bible, sheep are most likely portrayed as weak. But, there is not only the waywardness of the sheep and the weakness of the sheep, but there is the worth wildness about a sheep. The sheep is a valued animal and God values us. In that day the men counted their wealth by sheep because sheep gave wool, and the sheep gave milk, the sheep gave meat, and the sheep produced lambs.
That means in spite of our weakness and waywardness, the Lord loves us. The sheep not like a dog and not like a hog, is a clean animal. The cleanliness representing the fact that we are God’s saints, we have been born again and born of the Spirit of God, so we are clean like sheep.
Now therefore, because we are like sheep and we are worth something yet sheep are weak and wondering, they need to be protected. So, the church is like a flock and a sheepfold. The Lord so loves these sheep and knows that they’re so weak and they tend to wonder, but He values them so much that He puts His sheep together in a church. The church is the flock. The Bible does not teach that every sheep is to go off on his own. Every sheep is to be part of the flock and God gives to that flock a shepherd because it is very important that the sheep congregate themselves together. Every once in a while there’s a sheep that says, “I like the shepherd, but not the flock.” That is, “Jesus yes, but church no.” That is a dangerous view to have. That is a good way for a sheep to be devoured and there are a lot of things around that will devour the sheep. For example, if you are in ch.5, look at v.8, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” God wants us to be in the protection of the flock with a shepherd looking over us. There are wolves and wolves that will devour the sheep and there are thieves that will steal the sheep.