We Are Called to Shepherd
Posted in Stewardship/Giving
Scripture: “Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own son. I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothing. You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions. In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ When he had finished speaking, he knelt down with them all and prayed. There was much weeping among them all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, grieving, especially because of what he had said, that they would not see him again. Then they brought him to the ship.” – Acts: 20:28-38
There are so many lessons that one could learn from this passage written by the Apostle Paul to the elders of the church of Ephesus. Possibly the most compelling of them is that we– like the Ephesians –are called to shepherd others.
In this passage, the elders of a new church in Ephesus are losing their teacher/leader – forever. Put yourself in their places. They are obviously sad, but I think we can also assume they are terrified. They will now be in charge of a fledgling church, and their departing leader has quite frankly stated that savage wolves will be moving in. What a responsibility!
I’m so grateful for Eastminster’s teaching and ruling elders and deacons, who so freely offer their time and talent of leadership. We don’t have wolves amongst us like those in Ephesus, but we have definitely had some tough times that our leaders have worked through beautifully.
Even more, I am so very thankful for the folks in this congregation who so willingly take on the less glamorous tasks. Thank you to our Sunday School teachers, the Weekly Weeders, the Sanctuary Keepers, the Food for the Soul committee, and the pasta makers and cake bakers on the Transitions team. Thank you to everyone who does their best to care and nurture this congregation. From the elders and teachers to the bakers and weeders, you all are appreciated for shepherding the people in and around our church!
As written in today’s scripture, we, as fellow Christians, have a responsibility to shepherd our flock. We all are called to shepherd those in our midst. “Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own son” (Acts 20:28).
If you have not yet committed to serve in the church, it’s still not too late to complete the Time & Talent Form on our website. I encourage you to consider one of the many, oh-so-necessary jobs. We are in need! In the Music Ministry, I need folks to volunteer during the children’s choir rehearsals on Sunday nights, walk singers to the restrooms, or set the tables for their dinner following rehearsals. We also need someone to file music in the Choral Library. Vacation Bible School and Music Camp greatly need volunteers in the next few weeks. We desperately need folks to serve in the Kitchen Ministry on Wednesdays this fall. The Living Nativity committee can always use folks to repair or make costumes for our Christmas pageant, and the Flower Guild will always need decorators. As always, we are in constant need of more Sunday School teachers and leaders. Our children need to hear the stories of Jesus.
Please prayerfully consider how you can serve and, as you do this, be thankful that you are serving within an established Body of Christ in Columbia and not a newborn congregation in ancient Greece. Talk about stress!
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for elders, deacons, and ministers who graciously lead and serve this congregation. Help us all prayerfully consider how we may offer ourselves to the necessary, behind-the-scenes jobs. Please help us live into the baptismal vows we pledge each Sunday, to nurture and serve not just our wee folks, but children of God of all ages and sizes. We love you and we thank you for all our many blessings. Amen.
Submitted by Fredna Lee