A Shepherded Flock

Open Your Bible

John 21:15-17, Matthew 20:20-28, Ephesians 4:11-14, 1 Peter 5:1-5, Acts 6:1-6, Acts 20:28-31, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Proverbs 11:14, Titus 1:5-9, Hebrews 13:7, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

Since 2012, She Reads Truth has maintained a singular mission: to be women in the Word of God every day. Ten years later, our community includes “Shes” from across the globe, but our mission hasn’t changed.

Reading Scripture together is the centerpiece of what we do at She Reads Truth. As we spend time as a community reading This Is The Church, we encourage you to start by reading the daily Scripture on your  own. Then join us here to engage and encourage one another as we respond to what we’ve read. Each day for this series, we’ll include a brief summary of the reading along with a prompt for conversation.

Christ calls believers to tend, care for, guide, and serve the Church. Leaders are called to a high standard of character and behavior as undershepherds responsible to Christ for how they care for His sheep. 

As you reflect on Scripture today, take time today to pray for both the character and the endurance of your brothers and sisters in Christ who are serving your local church. Share what you are praying along with your response to the reading. 

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53 thoughts on "A Shepherded Flock"

  1. Katherine Herrington says:

    I found the verse about not making your leaders feel complaint in overseeing you powerful – we should not make a leaders job difficult but instead should be praying and seeking to help them in all we can!

  2. Emily Allen says:

    I have seen this whole concept of overseers go so, so, SO poorly. What do we do when the people in these positions are puffed up religious people? We aren’t a part of our “church” anymore because of this issue. Trying to figure out where we went wrong as a fairy…the Bible refers to overseers, but surely cannot mean the kind of stuff I’ve seen.

  3. Catht says:

    A very difficult request today. My pastor has had a huge influence on my spiritual growth but we are now heading in two different directions as my church disaffiliates from the UMC. While I have promised, as the former lay leader, not to stir the fires that are to come by “fighting” for my point of view I think I can continue to be grateful for his servant’s heart & imitate that but not the part that is condemning, judging some of my brothers and sisters in Christ. All are my neighbors. —-Amen

  4. Anna Pearce says:

    I pray that the ministry that holds the cowboy church we attend on Wednesdays continues to grow their ministry, snd maybe one day open their own church.

  5. Leslie says:

    I am praying that they will live with integrity, that God will put true friends in their lives to love and support them, I am praying for protection over their families and that God will keep them from willful sins, I am praying for their children that they will choose Jesus, and for God’s blessing on their lives.

  6. Emma Simmons says:

    i pray for everyone struggling with anything and praying peace for them mentally

  7. Abigail B. says:

    I just read through all the previous comments, and have to say, thank you and Amen to Churchmouse’s comment/prayer, as well as Jennifer Loves Jesus. So very true, both of you, everything you said. I’m praying for my senior pastor specifically right now, as he has finally taken a long overdue sabbatical to spend time with his wife, and be refreshed in his calling and ministry. He embodies the role of shepherd, always speaking the truth of the Gospel, and calls out warnings when the Spirit prompts him to do so. I appreciate his leadership.

    I also pray for our assistant and associate pastors, as they continue in the shepherding role while allowing our senior pastor his rest. I pray they would be strengthened and encouraged as they take the helm.

  8. Patsy Coghlan says:

    I will pray for our elders to be true shepherds of our flock.

  9. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray I can think of more ways to serve my church family.

  10. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I’m praying for my senior pastor at our church. I pray he can lead with God’s strength, wisdom and discernment.

  11. Beverly Watley says:

    ❤️ Amen

  12. Meagan Warlick says:

    I love the imagery of what a good overseer of the church is. It’s such a high standard and no one is perfect in achieving it, but when I think of the Godly men and women that I look up to, they embody all of those qualities. I want to be an overseer of the church and I want others to be as well! My prayer is that we as the church would continue to strive for these attributes so we can lead others and love well!

  13. Aimee D-R says:

    That our Church leaders stay true to spening and acting on God’s Word, lead by the Holy Spirit and with Grace and Mercy always modeled.

  14. Anne Marie Lopiccolo says:

    This is such a challenging reading as we see the fallen humanity on display in many large churches. May we grieve with the hurt, pray for repentance, offer forgiveness, and apply Biblical standards in raising up leaders and discerning who to follow. I feel a burden to pray for our church leaders more than ever.

  15. Bridgette says:

    I’m praying for you MICHELLE PATIRE. I definitely can relate to how you are feeling and I know, as I know you know, that our God is greater than these chains. God is our ever present help in times of trouble.

  16. Terri Baldwin says:

    So much packed into todays reading…..Peter will demonstrate his love for Jesus by loving God’s people and feeding them his word. Jesus himself will give his life for ransom, the price of release for many. “In place of” signifies the exchange of Jesus’ life on the cross for all those who accept his payment for their sins. “You will indeed drink my cup” ones divinely determined destiny, whether blessing, disaster, salvation, or wrath. Here it refers to the fore coming suffering on the cross. Stephen became the first Martyr
    Paul labors to see people saved, coming to faith, and knowledge of truth. Godliness is the true gospel. Brotherly love= relationships in the church, marked by love are the fruit of faith. Appreciate and respecting our Leaders, Elders of the church. God had promised eternal life and God never lies. Life, Hope, and Faith.

  17. Terri Baldwin says:

    So much packed into todays reading…..Peter will demonstrate his love for Jesus by loving God’s people and feeding them his word. Jesus himself will give his life for ransom, the price of release for many. “In place of” signifies the exchange of Jesus’ life on the cross for all those who accept his payment for their sins. “You will indeed drink my cup” ones divinely determined destiny, whether blessing, disaster, salvation, or wrath. Here it refers to the fore coming suffering on the cross. Stephen became the first Martyr

  18. Terri Baldwin says:

    So much packed into todays reading…..Peter will demonstrate his love for Jesus by loving God’s people and feeding them his word. Jesus himself will give his life for ransom, the price of release for many. “In place of” signifies the exchange of Jesus’ life on the cross for all those who accept his payment for their sins. “You will indeed drink my cup” ones divinely determined destiny, whether blessing, disaster, salvation, or wrath. Here it refers to the fore coming suffering on the cross.

  19. Adrianne says:

    I’m asking for the protection and uplifting of the people who attend church, who lead in the church, and provide the next generation with much needed knowledge and guidance.

  20. Mercy says:

    Thank you Churchmouse.

  21. Mercy says:

    I am praying for my local church leaders and everyone in any serving positions, and all the sheep to be strengthened by the Lord. May God build up the godly leaders the needed characters and great endurance to outwit the devil and his crafty schemes. May God help them through the exhaustion that ministry can bring. I pray for the Lord to refresh these men and women of God, to release them of any battles in their mind, in their families, in their congregations, and pour into them hope and abundant joy as they serve the church (a group of imperfect people in progress)- a very difficult job. Please guide them into humility and continued repentance to lead by example, help them not to be self-willed but partnering with God to let go of the pressure and heavy burden. I am also reminded of the fine line between serving and distraction in today’s reading, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables” (Acts 6:2), “But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40). Among the valid complaints (and comparison trap) that exhausted Martha pointed out, who’s CLEARLY doing more serving, yet the Lord commended Mary who did nothing but to sit focused at His feet to listen to the Word. Something to ponder, to serve or not to serve, do we trouble ourselves on unnecessary work? On this note, I pray for wisdom for church leaders who design church programs to come to discernment what is needful, and eliminate the dead works of distraction that cost time, resources and efforts. Be blessed dear sisters. May we discern truth and almost truth.
    @Michelle Patire, praying.

  22. Emily Daudelin says:

    Praying for church leaders that they would be empowered and equipped by the Word and their community. May we encourage and pray for our leaders as we build them up in love.

  23. Faith Magras says:

    I pray for safety and Windoms for those who lead our child and that they would seek God in all things

  24. Dorothy says:

    So in my Bible next to 1 Timothy 3:1-13 I have written, “Shouldn’t we all try to live like this?” I believe you don’t have to be leader to help people find God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. It the life I live and the way I live it that will draw people around me to Christ.
    Be blessed and contemplate on whether or not you are showing those around you you’re a Christian by your actions sisters.

  25. Cindy Hanna says:

    What a great observation Trish Leverett. All believers have a dual calling to submit humbly to being “Shepherded” and gently lead as “Shepherds” those within our spheres of influence. Our family includes many who serve in various capacities of Ministry. Some are very high profile. others work behind the scenes. My prayers praise God for equipping them for faithful service and strength not to be discouraged.

  26. Karen Valente says:

    I also am thankful for our pastor. He is very well liked and has been with our church for 32 years! I pray that he will continue to do good works and keep us and especially the young ones excited about Jesus.

  27. Mari V says:

    I pray for our new youth pastor who has been here for less than a year. I love that the ministry leaders have embraced him and his beautiful young family. He is a man of integrity and loves youth. I am privileged to serve under his leadership. He is doing great! And it’s very evident that he loves Jesus. He sends encouraging emails to us who are serving under him. And a couple of months ago he blessed my daughter and I in the most amazing way. He let me know how much he appreciates me being there. I needed to hear those words that day.

  28. Michelle Patire says:

    This is unrelated to the devotional. I did read it, it was really good! The Lord def spoke to me about high standards in life being a good thing ;) I have been wondering about that. He is so kind.

    Just wanted to ask for prayer. I sometimes go through bouts of confusion and heavy anxiety, which I have talked about. I know it is an attack. So I just want to pray for strength and confidence in who I am, as God’s child. I feel very much He is calling me to do great things this season and I’m certain the enemy hates my zeal, courage, and passion to do them. Prayers appreciated!!! Thank you <3

  29. Traci Gendron says:

    Oh my Churchmouse. That was so wonderfully said. It gave me great insight. I have a wonderful friend that is a pastor. This gives me more knowledge on how to pray for him.

  30. Samantha Nail says:

    I’m reminding myself that shepherds and leaders are not always those in an “official” capacity, but those caring in the trenches & serving as examples as laypeople. Especially for those that have experienced abuse or pain from “official” leaders, remembering that God calls up shepherds of all kinds is at the front of my mind this morning. Thanking him for our good shepherds – formal or not – that embrace their callings with humble, sincere hearts.

  31. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    Thank you Churchmouse for your encouraging words and call to prayer for all our pastors and spiritual leaders. My husband and I have been in full time ministry for 29 years, at the same baptist church. Over those years we have been through the valleys and on the mountain tops, highs and lows, ups and downs. Right now we are going through a very difficult time, we are discouraged and very sad. Please pray for us, our church, our ministry – which is really God’s. I am encouraged as I am reminded of Hebrews 13:5 because God has said, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” It is reassuring and comforting to know that God is with us at all times – even in our loneliness, discouragement or depression as well as our times of happiness, joy and rejoicing. Praying for my husband today as he prepares Sunday’s message and for all pastors everywhere. Blessings my dear sisters in Christ.

  32. Annie Bergen says:

    As a Children’s Pastor and being on staff at our church for 10 years, I am asking for a deep love for our congregation and wisdom in leading children and families. There has been a lot of hurt in the past 2 years and divisiveness seems to be at an all time high now matter what the topic, which can be terribly exhausting. I’m praying we stay true to our mission, being a staff of integrity and love.

  33. Peggy Pappas says:

    I pray for protection on faithful pastors, elders, deacons and ministry leaders in our congregation. My husband has just been installed as an elder. Our church is faithful and the leadership has been humble and caring for the needs of the flock. We are thankful to be a part of this church, but also know they can come under attack. I also know pastors and leaders can become discouraged, so I pray the Holy Spirit ministers to their hearts. I pray for leaders worldwide to be faithful to God’s word, faithful to their calling and bold to stand up for what is truth and right and not bend to what culture wants them to say. We need to be praying for and encouraging our leaders daily.

  34. Angie Mills says:

    Sovereign Lord, You are the One who raises leaders to their positions. I pray for the leaders in Your church. Help them to be above reproach, the husband of one wife or the wife of one husband, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, gentle, a good manager of his household. Let them not be one who is a drunkard, a violent person, a quarrelsome person, a greedy person who loves money, an arrogant person, or a quick-tempered person. Let them be men and women who are mature in the faith. Keep them humble, Lord. Let them not become puffed up with conceit. May they be above reproach. May they be well thought of by those in the community outside of the church that Your name may be glorified not ridiculed or smeared.

  35. Angie Mills says:

    Lord of Truth, strengthen our evangelists, shepherds, and teachers to equip Your church for the work of ministry. Strengthen them to help us learn how to serve others for Your glory. Help them to build up Your church. May they not use the words You have given them or the position and authority You have given them to tear down Your church through divisions and bitterness and false teachings. Help them remember that their aim is to help the people of Your church to attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of Your Son, to attain maturity as measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ, that we may stand firm in the faith not carried away by false doctrines, human cunning, or deceitful schemes.

  36. Angie Mills says:

    Lord of All, You are the King who is above every king. Please make the leaders in Your church willing to drink the same cup of suffering that You were willing to drink to rescue Your people from the result of their sin. Lord, let them not love comfort and ease so that they shrink from the difficult and hard things that come with ministering others. Help them remember that a minister is someone who ministers to others. They are a servant. They are called to help meet the needs others have. They are not to lord their position over others, but are to use their position and authority to serve and help others.

  37. Angie Mills says:

    Lord, I pray that You would feed the shepherds and leaders in Your church so that they are able to feed us. Make their quiet time with You and their study of Your Word rich so that they can pull from their abundance and share it with others, especially to those who are starving to hear a word from You.

  38. Jackie says:

    I am praying the church become the mature, loving people Paul spoke of in Ephesians 4:13-14.

  39. Jennifer Loves Jesus says:

    “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the flock of my pasture,” declares Yahweh.” (Jeremiah 23:1). Right out of the gate this morning, as I think about our Good Shepherd and believers as His under-shepherds, my heart laments over the scattering acts of leaders of our country destroying the Christian fabric of America. I am praying for believers (and me) to be strengthened in faith, overcoming fear and standing against what Covid and political agenda have done to divide and scatter. This fear has greatly impacted the gatherings of God’s flock and standing for what is right. I am praying for wisdom and health, encouragement for healthy choices in food and exercise that will heal our bodies, the temples that hold the Holy Spirit. I am praying that God will help me (us) in the leadership role He has called me (us) to, both at work and in my (our) community. I pray over the shepherd’s roles and desires to search and gather believers together. May it be so, Lord. Help us gather. Help us stand for what is true and right. There are evil shepherds who want to keep us scattered and isolated, influencing and using scare tactics to entice us to believe lies. Woe to them. May we have eyes to see the Truth and hearts of courage to trust Jesus, our Shepherd, above anything else. He will guide us, His flock, to sources of sustenance and places of rest. The terrain is difficult at some points of our journey, the valley is always darker than the peaks. But I will fear not, because He is with me. He leads me in right paths. I know that God’s loyal love will pursue me always. (Psalm 23). Every believer is called to shepherd on some level. I pray for Christian leaders to be grounded in God’s truth, sustained by His grace, and strengthened by His might. I pray for lost and scattered believers to be found and gathered together in communities. Whether two or more, His presence is there. “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Jesus, Matthew 18:20). May we respond to the calling of our Shepherd. May we hear and remember His voice. May we walk worthy in His name. May we know stronger faith over fear of the unknown. May we follow His leadership and example as Shepherd. May we fight for what is right. Selah. Maranatha. Amen.

  40. P Blundell says:

    God, I thank you for our freedom of worshipping you in our churches, to live in a country that is safe to do so. I pray that the leaders of our local churches stay vigilant and are guarded with your spirit. I pray that they are honest leaders that have hearts for whoever walks through those buildings. I pray that they stay humble, are always filled with Your words wisdom. I pray that they work together as a team. I pray these churches grow in numbers unimaginable and that hearts are opening for Jesus!

  41. P Blundell says:

    God, I thank you for our freedom of worshipping you in our churches, to live in a country that is safe to do so. I pray that the leaders of our local churches stay

  42. Krystyn Carey says:

    Praying for those who serve my church this morning!

  43. Caroline Kelly says:

    I am praying that spiritual leaders of mine and those that lead my church would also have wisdom and the Holy Spirit poured into the, as they pour into me

  44. Sydney Smith says:

    Praying for the leaders of our church and the body itself. May we be a church who makes leading in God’s way joyful for our shepherds. Thank you Lord for men who live out these instructions, even in the face of the world today. Continue to bless them and their families in the ways that count.

  45. Linda says:

    Thank you Churchmouse. The role of Shepherd is not an easy one and will become more difficult the closer we get to Jesus’ return. May they continue to stand firm in their faith and convictions. Father, protect our pastors and ministry leaders and their from the enemy’s attacks. Continue to use them greatly in Your kingdom work. Thank you for each one of them and their unique giftings.

  46. SW says:

    I’m thankful for our pastor and elders. Our pastor faithfully preaches the Word without watering anything down. I pray for his wisdom and guidance from the Lord in continuing that. I’m part of a church that is pretty heavily Calvinist, but there are a few of us among the congregation that are Arminian. I pray often that this second tier issue would never lead to serious division in our church or among our leaders. I pray for the children and youth programs — what a task. My 3 year old is among them, and while I believe true discipleship starts at home, I pray for his teachers as they share the gospel to these little listeners. There’s so many things I pray for our church but these come to mind first.

  47. Searching says:

    Well said, CHURCHMOUSE, thank you.

    Praying for LESLIE O, KATIE, PAM C.

  48. Trish Leverett says:

    We are all placed by God to be shepherded where we are in the community of believers. And we are all placed in a position of shepherding – whether within our own family, our neighborhood, classroom or other places where we are called to care for a lamb or a flock. We will do well to consider this role God has assigned to us & diligently follow His instructions & example.

  49. Judy says:

    I pray for the leaders of my church – both the priest and the many leaders of individual ministry groups. It is a tough task to guide this flock and I pray that they remain in the word and follow His teaching. Our youth are in need – they don’t want to help anyone else (service projects), they want to stay inside and play games or sleep – they need good role models. Our church is also working on a gun violence initiative. I pray that the two camps in this discussion can discuss and listen calmly.

  50. Kelly (NEO) says:

    Thank You Lord for giving faithful leaders. So many of whom will never be famous or acknowledged beyond the flocks You have entrusted to them. May You encourage their hearts and fill them with peace. May those who lead through persecution be comforted by Your presence.

    Lord please fill the pastors of my church with Your grace, love, and wisdom. Give them insight as they study Your Word for what You would have them to say to our congregation. Be with their families, protecting them from any attacks from Satan.


  51. Churchmouse says:

    Who isn’t taking pause about pursuing a career in law enforcement these days? Not an easy decision.

    I’m sure there are also some who take pause about responding to God’s call to be a pastor these days. It is not for the faint of heart, the thinned skinned, the politically correct or the people pleasers. Those called to pastor are called to shepherd, underline shepherd, the flock God has placed before them. Earthly shepherds first and foremost intimately know the Great Shepherd and care for their flock as He does. They feed them what they need, not necessarily what they want. Pastors watch out for predators and shout out warnings. They guide the sheep away from their own foolishness. They praise them for good behavior and poke them, hard sometimes, for their rebellious behavior. Pastor/shepherds are watchful, knowing the idiosyncrasies of each sheep. They know when to apply the rod or the staff. They are always ready to protect. Pastors provide shelter, safe places, quiet places. They work hard to identify and heal wounds, checking for progress. They know their flock so well that they notice any gone missing. They will go after that one. They impress upon the lost sheep, now newly found, to recognize the benefits of staying close to the shepherd and obeying the pastor/shepherd’s commands… for these commands actually come from a far better Shepherd than he is. The goal of the pastor is to introduce all of his flock, from lamb to ram, to the Great Shepherd. The introduction is made, repeatedly, not with condemnation or fear mongering but with tenderness and thoughtful words, reminding them of the Great Shepherd’s unconditional love. The choice is up to the sheep. They have the free will to trust the Great Shepherd or go their own way, often leading to harsh consequences or even death. Neither the Great Shepherd or the pastor desires that any should perish. That is why neither tires of the pursuit. They hold open the gate to the sheepfold, ready to welcome them in, arms ready to embrace.

    Pastors, what a tremendous responsibility. What a tremendous opportunity. What a tremendous privilege. What a hard, hard calling. Why you said Yes to this call, God knows.

    Though there may be few or hundreds of very opinionated sheep in your flock, you answer to only One voice. I pray that you would confine to follow His leading, boldly declare His Truth and know that you, too, are allowed to drink deeply from the living water, lie down in green pastures and rest in the Great Shepherd’s presence. Take time for you and your family. Take more time when you and they need it. Remind the elders or board, that your family is your primary mission field. And remember, you are never the only one watching over your flock. There is Another. Always.

    Then brush the grass off, take another refreshing drink from the well that never goes dry and stand up, legs firm under His power. Go looking for those lost ones again, and again and again. For that is your calling. And it is oh so very hard and oh so very sacred. You walk on holy ground.

    1. Ruby Everett says:

      Good words, Churchmouse!

  52. Jo says:

    I thank God for the leaders of my church: for their dedication to the Word of God, their Godly counsel and their faithfulness in seeking the Lord for His will for our fellowship. True leaders are God-pleasers not people -pleasers.
    No leader is perfect as they are human representatives of Christ and it is our responsibility to pray for them that they might fullfil their calling faithfully. I pray that they would not grow weary in doing good, when they don’t seem to see the fruit from their dedication, for they will reap a harvest in the Lord’s timing.