Church Leader Reflections

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 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 5:1-3)

For a person who serves in a leadership position in the church, I see this scripture as an excellent reference point for knowing whether one’s service in the house of God is being done from a biblically acceptable point of view. Following what the apostle Peter has to say to the elders, three questions for self-reflection can be obtained from the aforementioned passage…

As I render my service in the church, am I doing it out of compulsion or out of a heart that is willing to serve? If I really sit down to think about the work I’m doing in my local assembly, do I have a burning passion for the work that I’m doing, and do I feel an inner joy within while carrying out my duties? Or is it that I feel that I have to do what I’m doing, and in reality, I’d rather be doing something else, yet feel obliged to do the work?

Am I looking to gain something from being a leader? As I serve in the house of Lord, is the work being put it really just the means to an end, maybe like money or a future spouse? Or do I just seek to be faithful to the call of God, and no matter what, I know that there’s no greater privilege than to work for the Lord?

Do I seek to turn my disciples miniature versions of me, with me acting as their boss? Or am I being a reflection of Christ to those the Lord has entrusted into my care, consciously making the constant effort to point them to Christ by my life and works?

The following verse is a very vital reason for which this self-reflection is so vital…

And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1 Peter 5:4)

Whether you are a leader, or you hope to become one someday, one thing is for sure: these instructions from Peter to the elders apply to us just as strongly today. A crown of glory awaits you as a leader in the church when it’s time to stand before the Master on the day of judgment. But it is imperative that you lead with a willing heart that doesn’t crave earthly gain over eternal reward, and that you live as an example to those that follow you. Let us do what is necessary to hear those glorious words…

“Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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