“So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings 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, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” ~ 1 Peter 5:1-3
For the past few months since being out of vocational ministry, I have had a lot of time to reflect on what it means to be a shepherd and to shepherd the flock. Recently, I have started reading Jared Wilson’s excellent book ‘The Pastor’s Justification: Applying the Work of Christ in Your Life and Ministry.’ In his chapter ‘The Holy Pastor’ which deals with the pastor’s need for personal holiness, Wilson makes the connection that a pastor’s drift into unholiness can often be seen in him moving away from shepherding the flock to domineering it.
He also offers the following five signs that a pastor has moved from shepherding to domineering:
- You Insulate Yourself From Criticism and/or Interpret Any Criticism as Attacks or Insubordination
- You have a Paranoia about Who is and Who Isn’t in Line
- You have a Need to Micromanage or Hold Others Back From Leadership Opportunities or Other Responsibilities.
- You Have an Impulse to Hoard Credit and Shift Blame
- Your Progression Has Regressed to Reaction (being known more for what you are against).
What do you think of this list? Would you add anything to it?