"Shepherds are..."

"Shepherds are willing to bear the pain and endure the brunt of the sheep for the sheep. True elders do not command the consciences of their brethren but appeal to their brethren faithfully to follow God's Word. Out of love, true elders suffer and bear the brunt of difficult people and problems so that the lambs are not bruised. The elders bear the misunderstandings and sins of other people so that the assembly may live in peace. They lose sleep so that others may rest. They make great personal sacrifices of time and energy for the welfare of others. They see themselves as men under authority. They depend on God for wisdom and help, not on their own power and cleverness. They face the false teachers' fierce attacks. They guard the community's liberty and freedom in Christ so that the saints are encouraged to develop their gifts, to mature, and to serve one another. 

(Alexander Strauch - Chapter 7 “A Determined Man” in “Church Planter” by Darrin Patrick)