I had no intention of writing today. After the Allume conference, all that I learned there, and being moved by a song by Meredith Andrews, I had committed that “I won’t speak until you speak, I won’t move until you move me.” So I had nothing for today. Until I did my #hellomornings reading on 1 Peter 5:1-14.
“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.” (1 Peter 5:2-3 ESV)
We all want to have a ministry, a place to serve, people to love, pray and care for. Blogging is one way to have that ministry extended. But not at the expense of neglecting those who are AMONG YOU, already in your care.
I have 3 children, a 4th on the way in a few weeks. My FIRST MINISTRY is to my family. To shepherd them means to feed, tend, protect, guide, nurture and care for them. Honestly, I’ve definitely let that focus slip in the past. But God has been showing me more and more how to make this a reality, how to care for the flock he has put right in front of me. The hardest part is definitely not domineering them – not lording my authority and position over them, but coming down on my knees with them, still as shepherd, leader, but gently guiding, taking their faces in my hands and pouring out love and wisdom on them.
Another area I’ve been overlooking, or lacking in is with our small groups. My husband recently went from small group leaders to leaders over a group of small groups – a flock, quite literally, as it is called. We have in our care the leaders of 5 small groups. Our responsibility is to encourage, pray, offer insight and however else we can help them to lead their groups. I’ve been neglecting contacting the small group leader wives for quite a while now, and finally got around to it the other day. I remembered what it was like to be a small group leader, feeling a little bit alone, holding others accountable in our group, but not having anyone to pray for ME when I struggled.
What happened I think perhaps blessed me more than these other women were blessed. In a simple e-mail asking a few questions, offering prayer, I received back a heap of concerns, praises, requests and struggles. All these were sitting there, for weeks on end, needing to be prayed over, and I had neglected to pursue the flock God had already given to me. With tears I read through the e-mails and was blessed to pray over these women – and will continue to do so!
It doesn’t matter who your flock is, where your flock is, how big your flock is – what matters is that you SEE them as your flock, and do your utmost to be a shepherd to them.
Shepherd YOUR flock among YOU.