Scatterling-elders shepherd God’s flock with a servant heart – a sermon on 1 Peter 5:1-11 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
If it is your first time with us today or if you’ve missed the past dozen or so sermons, you might be wondering what this scatterling –thing is all about. What is this scatterling-elders that I’m referring to? Scatterlings are the scattered believers to whom Peter is writing. They are the ones who have been chosen by God and who have been exiled or dispersed from their homelands and even from their families. The apostle Peter begins his letter as follows:
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood
These are the scatterlings, and wherever these people may find themselves, they are cared for in their faith communities, their congregations. Peter has been writing to them, to the individuals in these communities in general. And now he turns from addressing the church at large to addressing those who are responsible for the spiritual leadership in the churches. In a sense he’s fine-tuning his words to the leaders in those churches, the ones who are responsible for the spiritual leadership in the churches. He’s tweaking his words for the scatterling-elders, reminding them of the task to which they’ve been called. In essence he’s reminding them of their job-description. He reminds them of the responsibility that eldership brings. He reminds them of the attitude with which they are to serve and he also reminds them of the reward of eldership.
- The responsibility of eldership (v1-2a);
- The attitude of eldership (v2b-3); and
- The reward of eldership (v4)