Acts 20:28 (ESV) … “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.”
This verse provides a helpful definition of what leadership in the Lord’s church entails. Leaders must first keep watch over themselves. Paul gave similar counsel to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:16). The leader’s commitment to his own spiritual development determines how far and how well he will be able to lead others.
Paul also describes elders of the church as overseers of the flock and as shepherds of the church of God. Biblical oversight is not expressed primarily through decision-making or exerting authority in a dictatorial manner. Peter tells elders to “be shepherds of God’s flock … serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, … not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2, 3). Elders hold each other accountable; they meet the needs of their flock; they give responsible oversight to the direction of the church’s ministries; they provide spiritual food by seeing that the Word of God is faithfully taught. After all, the church is not the elders’; it is the church of God.
Paul then gives an additional reason for taking such special care of God’s church: it has been bought with his own blood. The Greek phrase can be translated, “the blood of his own,” thus referring to the priceless sacrifice that Jesus made to obtain humanity’s redemption from sin.