Peter presents himself to this Christian community of church as a fellow elder and witness to the passion of Christ (v. 1). This passage is an appeal for humility to the elders (vv. 2-4), the young (v. 5a), and everyone else (v. 5b). The author does not appeal to his preeminence over all of them; rather he addresses them as a fellow elder who’s like identity is made from the suffering of Christ.
The mission of the elders is to shepherd the flock of God. We are not told what this shepherding consists of. Any ideas? The emphasis is placed on the manner and attitudes involved in carrying out this work rather than the work itself. The elders are to model devotion, service, and generosity in contrast to the desire for profit; the abuse of power, and despotism normally displayed by the rulers of their day and to some extent ours.