We’re living in an era of history where it’s unpopular to call out the wolves and warn God’s people of error and danger. That work is often viewed as insensitive, mean-spirited, and rude.
Paul loved the church of Jesus Christ. Undoubtedly he gave his time, energy, and life’s blood in order to preach the gospel of King Jesus, plant churches far and wide, and contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Therefore, when Paul speaks a warning about twisted teachers who would war against God’s people—we must pay close attention.
In Acts 20:28-30, we find Paul in the midst of a passionate address to a group of fellow elders who served the church at Ephesus. Paul had served alongside them and ministered with them. However, he’s preparing to depart and continue his work of pioneer missions as God had directed him, but before he began his journey, he addressed the men he loved regarding their responsibility as overseers of a local church he loved.
Acts 20:28–30—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.  I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;  and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.
Guard the Elders
As Paul addresses the Elders, he encourages them to “pay careful attention” to themselves—namely the elders. In other words, this is one of the clearest passages in Scripture regarding the need for a plurality of elders in the local church and the rationale behind it. It’s a dangerous endeavor to seek to oversee a local church as a lone ranger pastor. Even more dangerous is the ministry model of a CEO pastor—opening wide the door for prideful leadership which often results in a fall.
The Church is God’s Church and he alone sets the rules, regulations, and boundaries for the functionality of local churches. If we will see a true reformation of healthy churches in our day, we must begin with a careful eye upon the leadership structure and a commitment to holiness for the glory of God.
Guard the Flock
A man who is incapable of carefully guarding the flock of God from fierce wolves has no business pursuing eldership within the local church. Paul writes the following in verse 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.
The word “care” is the Greek term, “ποιμαίνω” which has means to “herd, tend to animals, shepherd.” From this very term is where we derive the English word—pastor. Notice how Paul weaves the work of pastoring with guarding against fierce wolves.