Give a shepherd’s care to God’s flock among you, exercising oversight not merely as a duty but willingly under God’s direction, not for shameful profit but eagerly. (1 Peter 5:2)

Not for shameful profit. That includes more than financial gain. Pride, position, status, recognition – all of these can be shameful motivations for doing shepherding work.

The opposite can also be true. Shepherding out of duty, because it is your job description, is equally as unacceptable. It is all too easy for under-shepherds to fall into one or the other of these ditches.

What is the proper motivation?

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ (Matthew 25:35, 36, 45)

Serving the Shepherd’s flock is the same as serving the Shepherd himself. That should be plenty of motivation.