1 Peter 5:2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly
Peter is speaking to the elders as an elder himself. He is encouraging his fellow elders in a letter to lead according to God’s will with simple instructions on how they should lead. What is most powerful is Peter gets to use the “I am a witness” card. Not only is he speaking to other elders as an elder but also “as a Witness”. In the first few verses he makes statements that indicate:
- Flocks must be led
- Flocks need direction
- Servant elders must lead eagerly, willingly, not out of compulsion
- Servants must follow God’s will and example
I must follow God’s lead and example. We do not have to serve God. If we are believers, and we believe that Jesus is our Risen Lord and Savior, we should WANT to serve God. We should want to serve not out of guilt or fear or compulsion but out of love. The more you know about Jesus, the more you trust him as your personal Lord and Savior and the more you want to be like him. He gave us the example of serving others and by putting others first. I must follow his example.
We should serve with our eyes and heads up looking for ways to connect with others and looking out for the needs of others. Serving with our heads down may cause us to bump our heads and stumble. We should not serve out of a belief that if we don’t do the job, it won’t get done. God has many ways of fulfilling his plans and purpose.
Am I leading or am I driving? The example of an elder being a shepherd means he is leading a flock. Flocks need to be led, not driven. Therefore, I must lead by example. I must lead by knowing the needs of the flock and being able to lead the flock in the direction it needs to go. This takes being in the Word on a continual basis, regular prayer and humility.
Father, you have placed the needs of a flock under the care and direction of an elder team at Good Life. Help us to lead our congregation according to your will and in a manner that is pleasing to you.
I ask you for continual wisdom, guidance and clarity as we tend to our congregation’s needs so we can glorify you in all we do both as individuals and as a congregation. Help us to teach, lead and live according to the example that you have given us in your son, our Savior, Jesus.