The Apostle Paul instructed the church at Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 5:12-15) to respect those who labored among them and were over them in the Lord. His words indicate the servants of God leading and laboring among the people were deserving of respect. The undershepherds of the church should follow the example of Jesus in humility and servanthood, taking good care of God’s people, and faithfully discharging their duties.
Not only was the church to respect them, but also to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. I have been richly blessed serving God’s people for more than two decades to have received an immense amount of love from my spiritual family. The love shown by God’s people is encouraging, especially when dealing with the difficulties of life and ministry which are inevitable.
The church was also instructed to be at peace among themselves. There is nothing sweeter than the family of God, laboring together in the work of God, in a peaceful, and mutually beneficial way. When peace exists among a people it should not be taken for granted. Satan is continually seeking to divide and devour but by the power of the Holy Spirit peace can grow and not diminish among God’s people!
Shepherds, seek to be the kind of leaders and laborers who earn respect, receive love, and further peace.