On Sunday, we played the song “Shepherd the Flock” for the first time at North Side. John Kennerly sang it at our Epworth Night of Worship, but since he was out of town this weekend, they were stuck with me singing it ;).
The song is based off of 1 Peter 5:1-5.
1 Peter 5:1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
This was one of the more difficult songs to imagine. How were we going to make a song that worked for this Scripture passage? The more I studied it, the more it needed to be a simple, stripped-down song that sounded like a prayer of a pastor or a prayer for a pastor.
The call of this passage is for a pastor to shepherd the flock that is among him. In the Bible, there are these things called elders. Elders are synonymous with pastors, shepherds, or overseers. No, elders are not a Presbyterian concept. They are a biblical concept. And there are many churches (including us) who think that since the Bible mentions them, we need to have them. North Side has staff and elders and non-staff elders. It is not a board. It is not a glorified deacon role. It is what the Bible says it is.
These are men called by God to care for the people of a local congregation. They are to teach the Word of God, defend from incorrect doctrine, lead people in discipleship, and care for their needs.
These men should serve not because they have to but because they get to. They shouldn’t let greed or power-hungry tendencies to get in their way. They should watch over them and prove to be an example for the flock concerning how to live for Christ.
In a time when pastors are known to be power-hungry, ego-maniacs that run a church like a corporation or a crooked politician, this passage reminds us that a pastor’s chief characteristic should be humility.
The song has an A, A, B, A structure. A little over 2 minutes long, the song simply goes through these verses and puts music to them.
Shepherd the flock among you, trusted unto your care, under your watch belonging to God who has called you to them
Never because you have to, serve them because you can, not for your gain but work for that day when He finally appears
Oh, that day when we see His face, we’ll receive a crown that will never fade, to behold His glory when we finally see
How He will shepherd the flock among Him, the ones for which He died, opposing the proud, yet His grace will abound to those covered in humility
For the recording, it was me playing the guitar part and John singing with his golden pipes. Stripped down, very prayerful, and one of my favorites on the whole project. Hope you enjoy it!
Pray it encourages pastors and elders to shepherd the flock that God has entrusted to them.