“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you … And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” (1 Peter 5:2-4)
It’s both humbling and liberating to realize that we don’t pastor our own flocks.
It’s humbling, because it’s not really about us. Let no pastor ever think that they are the main attraction of the church. No shepherd should be proud in the first place; shepherding isn’t exactly the most glamorous position one could hold. Besides that, they sheep aren’t ours. They belong to a greater Shepherd. He gets all the glory; we’re temporary custodians who fulfill our roles while we care for and love the sheep.
It’s also liberating. We love and serve, but we also entrust the sheep to a Shepherd who knows what to do even when we don’t. The job of Savior is already taken.
This doesn’t mean that the role of pastor isn’t important. It does mean that we take our place as under-shepherds, refusing to think more of ourselves than we should, and freeing ourselves from the illusion that we’re in control.
We shepherd God’s flock, and there’s a chief Shepherd. Let’s never forget.