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, serving as overseers– not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, 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)
Scripture teaches us that heaven will be a place of reward and recognition. Though the presence of Jesus and the pleasures of heaven may seem sufficient enough for many, according to scripture, praise from our Savior will also be a very important part of our celebration in heaven. If that is so, no doubt many of us will wish that we had served Him more.
Today’s passage reveals yet another reward that will be received by some. It is what many call the Crown of Glory which will be given to those who have faithfully cared for God’s sheep. These men are sometimes referred to in scripture as ‘shepherds.’ The term we most often use today is ‘pastor’.
Peter lists several areas in a pastor’s ministry where he will be evaluated:
1. His care for the needs of the sheep
2. His overseeing and management of the affairs of the church
3. His motivation for serving and how he viewed his compensation
4. And how he lived as a personal example before the sheep
I believe that not only will pastors be eligible for this reward, but their wives will also as well. Having been in the ministry for many years, I can assure you that how the pastor’s wife supports her husband, and how she serves the body of Christ, is as important to the success of a ministry as what the pastor preaches from the pulpit.
Peter tells us that those who serve well in the caring for the sheep will be eligible to receive a heavenly reward. “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” (1 Peter 5:4)
We should note that this reward, as well as all the others, will not be given to everyone automatically. A reward is not truly a reward unless it is given in recognition for a job well done.
Please continue to pray for Tammy and myself, as well as all those who have been given the responsibility of shepherding God’s sheep. The world is in desperate need of godly churches, and godly churches depend upon godly leaders.