This introduces a series of four articles on overseers. It is being written by men who have this responsibility in local assemblies.
It is possible that the preservation and progress of the assemblies occupied a larger place in the heart of Paul than the initial faith in Christ of the believers. This is evident from his statement in 2 Corinthians 11:28 which forms the title for this series of articles dealing with the vital subject of oversight in a New Testament assembly. It is one thing to see blessing in gospel efforts; it is another to see those who have been saved continuing in ways that please the Lord. To this end, God raises up in each assembly brethren to shepherd and succor the flock so that none may depart or fall by the wayside. These writings are intended to challenge those who have this responsibility and to teach younger believers their spiritual response to such a ministry. None of the authors claims perfection, but after many years of seeking to discharge these responsibilities that have fallen to them, along with other elders in their respective assemblies, they write from what they have learned.
Genesis 33:13-14 reveals Jacob’s shepherd heart. The wise man wrote; “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, look well to thy herds” (Proverbs 27:23).