25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God,  which he obtained with his own blood.(Acts 20:25-28 (ESV)
The Acts 20 is full of great pastoral theology really. Paul honestly believes he will not see these men again. He doesn’t think he will survive Jerusalem. Yet he goes. Here in his farewell speech he talks to the pastors about what they are supposed to be doing. He holds himself up as an example. He didn’t shrink from proclaiming the truth, neither should you. His conscience is clean because he proclaimed the truth, he has no control over what others do or don’t do with the truth. He isn’t concerned for him it was enough that he preached and taught the truth. This is what they should do to. Pay careful attention first to yourself, then to he flock.
A pastor can never be finished studying, learning, growing in his understanding of the word, examining his teaching. The other day I was asked if I ever got a whole day off. I had to think about it. No, not really. It isn’t something I complain about. But how do you take a day off from the faith? It’s sort of difficult. I expect that my members pray for themselves and others and the congregation daily. It’s what I do anyway, and yet something like that is part and parcel of my job. You can’t control when people end up in the hospital. And honestly, the theological study part of it is just something I enjoy immensely, again part of my job. It’s fun getting paid to do what you love, and at the same time, it is a bit dangerous because you need to be able to take a break from your job even if you do enjoy it. Then again, dairy farmers don’t get to skip milking cows just because they want a day off. The imagery is of a flock is an apt one. Being a shepherd isn’t a 9 to five. But you take the time you need when you can get it.
And then it is the honor that God makes you overseers of the flock which he obtained with his blood. He entrusts to your care those whom he values more than his own life. That’s incredible. He values you the same.