The second responsibility of the shepherds toward the sheep is SPIRITUAL OVERSIGHT. Note also in verse 12 that they “are over you in the Lord.” This comes from the Greek word, proistemi, which literally means “to stand before or over you.” It means to have authority or be in charge.
In I Timothy 3, we see this word used three times. In verse 4, Paul speaks of the qualifications of an elder as being one who “rules his own house well.” In verse 5, he asks, “If a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?”
We see this word again in I Timothy 5:17 “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.”
These men are to lead and give oversight to the church. We see this concept in Hebrews 13:7, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation [lifestyle].”
Look back at today’s verse. Note where they are to be “over you.” It is “in the Lord.” Our leadership is not self-appointed, it is God-given. It is a soft, loving authority. It is not dictatorial or despotic. May we always demonstrate a soft, loving authority in our roles and responsibility in leadership!