I’m convinced that there are few callings more honorable or difficult than that of a pastor-shepherd.
If we think the relationship between husband and wife is problematic, imagine the complexity involved in the relationship between church congregations and their spiritual leaders.
Interestingly, the New Testament likens both church and marriage to a body and discusses at length what happens when the members of either body don’t show mutual love, respect, and cooperation.
Could be one reason that Peter, after learning from Jesus that those who rule need to be as those who serve, wrote,
“And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share his glory and his honor when he returns. As a fellow elder, this is my appeal to you: Care for the flock of God entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly– not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your good example. And when the head Shepherd comes, your reward will be a never-ending share in his glory and honor” (1Peter 5:1-3).
Maybe that’s why it is so important for all of us, wherever we are in the body, to pray for one another and to realize that the idea of “ruling” doesn’t resonate with the spirit of Christ nearly as well as using whatever we have been given for the good of all (1Peter 4:7-11).