In Peter 5:1-5 the shepherd motif continues.
1 Peter 5:1-5 ( ESV )
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of thesufferings 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, buteagerly;
not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to theflock.
And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfadingcrown of glory.
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clotheyourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”Peter is addressing the “elders” in the church. These are the primary leaders of the localcongregation. (We will speak of them later.) Peter uses the image of the shepherd to passon instruction to the elders of the church. Function as a shepherd. Do this willingly andwatch out for them, which means not to focus on them but to keep your eyes movingaround them to protect them from the enemy. This is done by example and not forcefully. Now he gives instructions to younger “shepherds” and tells them to be humble towardone another. We, as youngers, are to submit to the shepherds over us. (not blindobedience as we will see later.) It is interesting here that we are both the sheep and theshepherd, depending on our relationship with another person.Again in John 10: 11-18 we find more information about what it means to be a shepherdin the church (a leader by any other name).
John 10:11-18 ( ESV )
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, seesthe wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them andscatters them.
He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for thesheep.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
just asthe Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and theywill listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
For this reasonthe Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.
Noone takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay itdown, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received frommy Father.”This passage of God’s Word starts out pretty extreme. Yes, it is referring to Jesus butthere is a model that is found here for leaders in general. The sheep are most important.He knows them by name and he cares for them. Leadership (shepherding) is notsomething that can be done from some ivory tower. We need to know our sheep—thosewe are responsible for and for whom we care.