July 11, 2024 Devotional

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 1 Peter 5:1-4

A ‘few’ years ago, at my 20th high school reunion, I was asked what I was doing now. It’s a common question at those milestone events, since we don’t always keep up with our former classmates and what they are doing. Combine that with the fact that my generation began a trend of not working at the same place for more than a few years, and it’s a valid question to ask: “What do you do, now?”

At that time, I had left my engineering career to pursue the call that God has on my life to be a pastor and Christian leader. I didn’t exactly know how to explain that to my former classmates, especially if they were not believers. So, when someone asked me that question, I simply answered, “I’m a shepherd.” You can imagine the strange looks I received from the people who asked, but it did give me an opportunity to explain that I was a pastor and that I had a flock of people for whom I was spiritually responsible in some ways. Needless to say, many of those conversations ended with the person walking away wondering why they had asked. I chuckled.

In our verse for today, Peter gave the church a vision for discipleship that includes many sheep and many shepherds. The pastor is not the only person responsible for the spiritual well-being of others. In fact, we each are called to look after those in the church – to guide them, love them, teach them, correct them, and forgive them. All that, so that people can stay on the path of spiritual health. We are commanded to teach and preach the Word, love others like Jesus did, and turn every eye and ear to God. His ways are better than our ways.  And His plan of salvation is far greater than anything we could imagine, and far FAR great than anything the world offers to us.

Are you mentoring someone in the faith handed down to you, and us, from the saints?  It’s time.  Are you part of a Class Meeting that meets every week for the sole purpose of doing life together with other disciples, sharing, learning, loving, and being held accountable to the life of a follower of Jesus?  It’s time.  What about a Wesley Band of 3-4 others who are serious about asking hard questions and holding each other accountable to holiness and sanctification?  You can find all about how to start a Class Meeting here (https://seedbed.com/how-to-reclaim-wesleyan-class-meetings/ ).

Who can you ask to be in a Band with you?  One goal of the Global Methodist Church is for every person to be part of a Class Meeting to grow and live together for Christ and his mission.  Others need you to walk with them.  You are a shepherd of sheep and a sheep with a Shepherd.  Jesus is calling!