Beware of Foxes and Wolves (part 2)

“The elders which are among you I exhort… Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.” (1 Peter 5:1-2) God gives a pastor three primary responsibilities: feed the flock, overseethe flock, and protect the the flock. “Take heed… to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:28-30) A pastor needs to protect the church from “wolves” of a spiritual nature. The protecting of the flock is primarily accomplished through feeding and overseeing. Feeding enables growth and encourages loyalty and unity, and oversight provides spiritual and physical direction for the church, while exposing and warning against enemies of the flock—the “wolves” that come in dressed as sheep. They attempt to look like sheep and talk like sheep, but they are not sheep. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening [extortionate] wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15– 16). Wolves are false, hypocritical, dangerous teachers; thieves that come to steal, to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10). Their motives are always evil, always self-serving. Their god is their belly (Romans 16:18; Philippians 3:19). Wolves try to scatter the sheep and isolate the weak and vulnerable from the protection of the shepherd and the rest of the flock (John 10:12). This is why it is so important for the church to be unified in doctrine and knit together in love, following the God-ordained shepherds given to them. ~Pastor David