To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care. 1 Peter 5:1-2 (NIV)
Notice Peter begins chapter 5 by addressing those who have been identified as elders among the people of God. That’s because he was writing to little communities of believers scattered throughout the world. In the first chapter, Peter addressed his letter to: “God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia” (1:1).
The church is a community of believers in one locality who have been drawn together by their common experience of the grace of God in Jesus Christ. Christians are never called to be followers of Jesus in isolation.
God’s purpose is not just that you would belong to Jesus, but also that you would be part of an identifiable flock of God’s sheep, under the care of trusted spiritual leaders. This is what Peter is talking about when he says to these elders, “The flock that is under your care.”
Respond to the statement: “God’s purpose is not just that you would belong to Jesus, but also that you would be part of an identifiable flock of God’s sheep, under the care of trusted spiritual leaders.”