August 2, 2021
Scripture: Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:2-3 ESV
Observation: Paul provides a long list of attributes/qualifications of a godly leader (elder) in his letters to Timothy and Titus. Here, Peter presents his prerequisites. For both of these apostles of the burgeoning church, their leadership qualifications do not include those attributes we tend to admire in others (physically attractive, charismatic personality, extraordinary communication skills). Instead, they address godly character. Why? Because those who possess outwardly attractive attributes that draw admirers are more likely to fall from grace if their inward character does not exceed their outward presentation.
Takeaway: So what should we look for in our leaders and in ourselves as influencers? First, we serve fellow Christians with a willing heart (not out of compulsion) to please God alone. Secondly, we avoid the temptation to gain others’ favor. “Gain” is not limited to monetary compensation but includes seeking accolades or any privilege intended for our benefit. Thirdly, we refrain from domineering those under our care. It is a fine line between leading and dictating. Lastly, we lead by example. When we fail to practice what we preach, we compromise the integrity of our Gospel.
Prayer: Father God, please help us to rightly lead your people as we would like to be led, that “when the chief Shepherd appears, [we] will receive the unfading crown of glory” (verse 4). Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling