“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
Today’s text brings us to the key message the Apostle Paul endeavored to communicate to the Ephesian church elders. This is his charge. These are his final thoughts about their pastoral responsibilities.
He commands and instructs them to pay careful attention. This is a present active imperative. It is a command by which the Ephesian elders are to pattern their lives and ministry each and every day. To pay attention is to be on the lookout or to carefully consider.
What the apostle wants the elders to pay attention to, to be on the lookout for, and to carefully consider is not only their own lives, but also the lives of their church flock. The reason for this careful consideration is because the Holy Spirit has set them apart as overseers for the church in Ephesus. An overseer (ἐπίσκοπος; episkopos) is a guardian or church leader.
This guardianship involves caring for the church which ultimately belongs to God. It is not their church but rather God’s. He created it, He owns it and He will sustain it. However, He has chosen these elders to care for it as faithful stewards of God’s grace (I Corinthians 4:1-2).
The church is so important to God because it was obtained by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The believers are valuable. All believes in Christ are valuable.
One commentator writes, “The picture here is of loving leaders manifesting a deep concern for the spiritual well-being of the people under their care. They are to be closely involved in the lives of Christians and able to teach, counsel, instruct and guide.”
Take the opportunity today to encourage your pastor and church elders. Let them know that you are thankful for them as they protect the church flock. Let them know that you praying for them as they serve.
Soli deo Gloria!