The third responsibility of the shepherds toward the sheep is HONEST TEACHING. In verse 12, we also see that the leaders “admonish you.” “Admonish” translates noutheteo which means “to put in mind, to caution, to warn.” It means instruction with a view toward correction, teaching you in order to protect you. Paul said in Acts 20:31, “Remember that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”
He said in I Corinthians 4:14, “I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.”
Since we are talking about shepherds, think of a sheep that is in danger. He’s headed toward a precipice, a cliff and may stumble and fall. The shepherd calls his name. He calls him to come back to the safety of the flock. If the sheep is stubborn, he may even use his staff and reach and pull the sheep back by the crook.
Remember that shepherds are charged to “watch out for your souls” (Hebrews 12:17). Our job is to protect you from “savage wolves” (Acts 20:29).
I Peter 5:3 warns elders not to be “…lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.” We are to lovingly keep guard over you and protect you from the wolves that would devour your spiritual life. This is why we spend so much time in the Word and in prayer so as to properly protect our church.