I don’t think the early church was as structured as churches today are: set up as a company, needing company directors, board meetings and minutes. But I’m sure there were appointed Elders who did their job.
Here’s the job description for an elder from 1 Peter 5:2-4. Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
When he penned this he was an Elder in age and authority. He’s writing this to church Elders, and humbly writes as a fellow elder, not a pope, a cardinal, a bishop, just a fellow elder.
I love the picture of a Middle Eastern Shepherd, leading out front with a rod and a staff, for guiding and discipline. Aussie Shepherds drive behind on a horse or a motorbike. As church leaders must make sure we shepherd the right way, always a few steps ahead, looking out for danger, seeking the best path, looking for the streams and the best fields to move towards.
We must remember that Jesus said, “He who wants to be greatest must be the servant of all.”
Lord, give me a shepherd’s heart. Bless the flocks; lead us all into greener pastures Lord! In Jesus’ name. Amen.