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Read Introduction to 1 Peter

 

Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly.

 

serving as overseers,
 
“Overseer” comes from two Greek words: over and see. An overseer is one who has responsibility for the care of someone, implying an official responsibility within a congregation probably referring to the pastor. He ministers to and responsible for the care of the local church.
 
Mt 25:43 “I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.” 
 
This word carries such ideas as review, inspect and examine.  The pastor looks over his congregation for inspection. An “overseer” looks after and cares for the congregation’s direction.   An overseer is a leader who has responsibility to care for the church. He carries the position of oversight.
 
1 Ti 3:1  “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.”
 
1 Pe 2:25  “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 
 
We get our word Episcopal from the word “overseer.” The pastor is to exercise oversight for his church. Every pastor must discharge this duty. This word conveys an injunction for polity for the local church. “Overseers” implies authority. No pastor can pastor without authority. Three negative clauses that follow qualify how he is to use his authority. 
 
An overseer is a church leader who is in charge of God’s work and should be without fault,
 
Ti 1:7  “For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money.”
 
PRINCIPLE: 
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Pastors must take the initiative of leading their churches.
 
APPLICATION: 
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Pastors must take the oversight of their churches. It is not enough to defer to the board for this. 
 
Sheep get sick when not sheared regularly. If the shepherd does not cut off their wool then they will not be healthy. Sometimes the shepherd nicks sheep in the process of shearing. After sheared, they look thin and some even bleed. If a novice shears the sheep, it can be a bloody affair. The pastor needs to remember that the sheep belong to the “Chief Shepherd,” who is the “Chief Pastor.” 
 
No pastor should assume authority unless he has a sense of responsibility and fairness. 
A pastor can shear sheep many times but they can only skin them once. Some people love authority because it stimulates their power lust. 
 
Some sheep do not want any supervision. They are spiritual anarchists. They are a law unto themselves. They do not permit anyone to have authority over them. 
 
He 13:17 “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
 
No pastor should preach the Word out of fear or favor of people. He is not in the business of a popularity contest.  
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