Shepherding God’s Flock

Shepherding God’s Flock

1 Peter 5:1-4 Pastor Joe Fauth


  • Peter seems to have three major concerns or themes in his writing:
    1. throughout the letter we find recurring encouragements and commands towards holiness and obedience in life;
    2. then there is the concentration on the Christian hope of a glory that is to be revealed;
    3. but the main concentration of this epistle is centered around the present context of suffering.
  • The final conclusion to this whole thing really seems to come in 4:19 when Peter writes, “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”
  • Throughout this letter it’s very clear that God permits and appoints suffering in the lives of His children.
  • There is a tight integration from 4:19 to 5:1
  • Notice how the first verse of chapter 5 begins, “So” or “therefore”. In other words, what is to follow here is flowing out of what he’s just said, particularly in 4:19

If you’re going to deposit your soul to a faithful Creator by continuing to do that which is good (or live beautifully) there are THREE ABSOLUTE NECESSITIES.

  1. Elders Must Shepherd the Flock of God (5:1-4)
  2. The Younger must be subject to the elders (5:5a)
  3. All must surround themselves with humility in service (5:5b)

Elders Must Shepherd the Flock of God (5:1-4)

  • Who? Elders
    • a plurality of elders
    • When you’re suffering as a Christian you really see your need to have godly leaders
  • What? Shepherd God’s Flock
    • there is one primary exhortation that Peter gives
    • The word “shepherd” implies the whole office of the shepherd: guiding, guarding, folding of the flock as well as leading to nourishment
    • The elder must carefully and diligently use his God-given skill to both guide and guard God’s flock.
    • sheep are can be easily disoriented, defenseless and deceived
  • How? Serving as Overseer
    • As an overseer the elder is an observer of the flock of God
    • He carefully examines the condition and needs of the flock (cf. Heb. 12:15)
    • The shepherding ministry of elders in the local church is a provision of God whereby we all might entrust our souls to God by living beautifully!
    • Spiritual leadership is to be taken on seriously and gladly with a joyful and willful heart and accomplished in the power of the Spirit of God (1 Tim. 3:1)

The Younger Must be Subject to the Elders (5:5a)

  • The subjection of the younger to the elders is a must since they are entrusting their souls to the faithful Creator by doing good.
  • This means to bring yourself under the influence of godly elders.

All Must Surround Ourselves with Humility to Serve (5:5b)

  • Now the focus moves to the entirety of the church…elders and congregation together.
  • the “one another” that comes at the end of the ESV is reference to another of the same kind. In other words, we are of the same kind.
  • Elders are to be so clothed with humility that they answer the call to shepherd the flock, younger people are to be so clothed with humility that they freely aligned themselves under the leadership of the elders in the local church.
  • Why? Because to those who do not array themselves in humility but rather with self-exaltation God is not coming as a faithful Creator but rather as an army set against them.


  • The goal in all of this is that we would learn to entrust our souls to a faithful Creator by doing good no matter the circumstances of life.
  • If that’s to happen, there must be elders who shepherd the flock, young people who submit to the elders, and a congregation of people who surround themselves with humility to serve one another.
  • The appointment of elders in the local church is for your spiritual good. It is so that God would not stand against you but rather give you grace.
  1. The passage present the role of elder as being primarily concerned with the spiritual condition of the church rather than as a management team. How have you thought about elders in the past?
  2. How does understanding the elder’s role change the way you: Prayer for them? Interact with them?
  3. How does your temptation to pride exhibit itself towards: The elders? Fellow believers?