Shepherd’s Care: Support

Today, we begin an exploration of another helpful passage:  1 Peter 5:1-11.  It gives us an excellent look at what the shape of pastoral ministry was becoming nearer to the end of the New Testament era.

The first thing we see is support.  Peter writes as “an elder myself.”

There is no better guidance for ministry than that which comes to us from other people who are practicing the kind of ministry to which we are called.  The best help I have received is from those men and women who were engaged daily in the very things I was.

After all these years of receiving counsel from such people, what I remember most is the “life together” that we shared.  A lot of their words have either slipped out of my mind or have been absorbed into my life.  But what I remember today is their willingness to invest in me.

I hope you have at least one other person from whom you are receiving this kind of support.  As I have said in previous blogs, I hope you are not practicing ministry alone.

Companionship on the ministerial journey is crucial.  Otherwise, we become what Henri Nouwen called, “Lonely ministers practicing lonely ministry.”

Before we hardly enter into this text, we discover that everything which Peter is about to say is based upon the fact that he is in a supportive relationship with those to whom he is writing.  If you do not have this kind of support woven into the tapestry of your ministry, I exhort you to seek it.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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