Read 1 Peter 5:1-5
Ministry: Training a next generation of spiritual leaders in Africa
Missionaries: Jason and Christy Carmean
There may not have ever been a time when it has been more difficult to pastor a church in the United States than our current time. On any given current subject, a variety of thoughts, opinions and positions exist. Pastors seek to navigate all of them to give effective spiritual care to the flock.
As we read Peter’s words to the dispersed church of his day, we are reminded of the priorities of the pastor as he ultimately gives an account to the Lord for his work.
The command that is given is to shepherd the flock of God that is among you (verse 2). Just like a real shepherd, they were responsible to the owner of the flock (God) for the care of the sheep. In Cameroon, we have shepherds who move flocks of animals from one place to another. The animals do not belong to the shepherd, they care for them for a season. The shepherds are rewarded if the animals are healthy. They are punished if the animals are unhealthy or have died.
Here are some observations from the text:
- Being a spiritual shepherd is hard, but good shepherds are motivated by a deep sense of God’s calling in their lives.
- Spiritual shepherds are responsible to the Lord only for the way they shepherd. At the same time, the life of the spiritual shepherd is to be lived as an example to the flock that is under their care. Pastors are not perfect examples, but they are good examples.
- The sheep are called to be subject to the shepherd. They are to willingly place themselves under their spiritual leadership.
Here in Cameroon the church has gone a generation without pastors and qualified spiritual shepherds. The impact of that is often seen in the church. Most Grace Brethren Churches in the U.S. do not have the issue of not having pastors and so the tendency can be to underestimate the importance of good spiritual leadership in the life of a local church.
We have the privilege of investing in a new generation of pastors here in Cameroon and hope that we are helping them understand the importance of being good spiritual shepherds who will give an account to the Lord first for the way they lead.
Pray: Please pray for a second promotion of students who will graduate in January 2022 and be called into spiritual leadership of the local churches in Cameroon, Africa.