Bible Narratives Wiki

A Christian shepherd leads God's flock as first described by Jesus in the Gospels (John 10:1-15). Around 62 CE, Apostle Peter gives an outline for fellow shepherds to follow. About the same time, the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy a more descriptive approach as to how shepherds should conduct themselves.

Shepherd conduct[]

Therefore, as a fellow shepherd, a witness of the sufferings of the Christ and a sharer of the glory that is to be revealed, I make this appeal to the shepherds among you:

Shepherd the flock of God under your care, serving as overseers,
Not under compulsion, but willingly before God;
Not for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly;
Not lording it over those who are God’s inheritance,
But becoming examples to the flock.

And when the chief shepherd has been made manifest, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. - (1 Peter 5:1-4)

Shepherd the flock of God under your care, serving as overseers[]

John 10:1-6

[1] “Most truly I say to you, the one who does not enter into the sheepfold through the door but climbs in by another way, that one is a thief and a plunderer. [2] But the one who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. [3] The doorkeeper opens to this one, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. [4] When he has brought all his own out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. [5] They will by no means follow a stranger but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” [6] Jesus spoke this comparison to them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. [7] So Jesus said again: “Most truly I say to you, I am the door for the sheep. [8] All those who have come in place of me are thieves and plunderers; but the sheep have not listened to them. [9] I am the door; whoever enters through me will be saved, and that one will go in and out and find pasturage. [10] The thief does not come unless it is to steal and slay and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance. [11] I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his life in behalf of the sheep. [12] The hired man, who is not a shepherd and to whom the sheep do not belong, sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them— [13] because he is a hired man and does not care for the sheep.

Not under compulsion, but willingly before God[]

I am the fine shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I surrender my life in behalf of the sheep. - (John 10:14, 15)

Not for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly[]

Paul's discourse to Timothy written sometime between 61 CE - 64 CE.
[1] This statement is trustworthy: If a man is reaching out to be an overseer, he is desirous of a fine work. [2] The overseer should therefore be irreprehensible, a husband of one wife, moderate in habits, sound in mind, orderly, hospitable, qualified to teach, [3] not a drunkard, not violent, but reasonable, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, [4] a man presiding over his own household in a fine manner, having his children in subjection with all seriousness [5] (for if any man does not know how to preside over his own household, how will he care for the congregation of God?), [6] not a newly converted man, for fear that he might get puffed up with pride and fall into the judgment passed on the Devil. [7] Moreover, he should also have a fine testimony from outsiders so that he does not fall into reproach and a snare of the Devil.
- (1 Timothy 3:1-7)

Not lording it over those who are God’s inheritance[]

Paul's encouragement to the Corinthians in mid 55 CE.
Not that we are the masters over your faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy, for it is by your faith that you are standing. (2 Corinthians 1:24)

But becoming examples to the flock[]

Apostle Paul's encouragement to the Thessalonians around 51 CE.
Not that we do not have authority, but we wanted to offer ourselves as an example for you to imitate. (2 Thessalonians 3:9)
Apostle Paul's admonition to the Philippians around 60 CE.
Unitedly become imitators of me, brothers, and keep your eye on those who are walking in a way that is in harmony with the example we set for you. (Philippians 3:17)