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‘Shepherd the church of God’; ‘Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock (Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:2-3 ESV). A shepherd keeps his flock from going astray…A shepherd goes after his sheep when they go astray…A shepherd protects his sheep from their enemies. A shepherd leads his flock to the fold; he pours oil on their wounds and gives them pure water to quench their thirst…It is one of the paramount functions of the eldership to strengthen the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees, to say to them who are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong!’ and to be the instruments of binding up the broken-hearted. I would mention specifically the sick, and the ministry of prayer in such instances.
From the Collected Writings of John Murray: Volume 1.