FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
TENDING THE FLOCK – 4
February 22, 2016
Today’s reading: 1 Peter 5:1-4
What is the task of servant leaders? “Tend the flock of God in your midst” (v.2a). We are to take care of God’s flock as Jesus himself, the Chief Shepherd, would. This is a very important and critical task, as God makes Himself dependent upon us to care for His people in the way that He Himself would. Thus we work “as God would have it” (v.2c). It is an awesome responsibility. How then should we go about this work?
First, we must have the right motivation. We work “not by constraint but willingly” (v.2b). We are not forced into this work. Rather, having been touched by Jesus, we desire to serve him. We are willing instruments. We rejoice at the opportunity to serve our Master.
Second, we work not only willingly but “eagerly” (v.2e). We recognize the great privilege of caring for God’s people. We understand that God uses us even in our nothingness. We realize that we can do a great deal of good for those entrusted in our care. We are eager to do our share in this divine work.
Third, we have no hidden personal agenda. We work “not for shameful profit” (v.2d). We serve simply out of love for God and love for His people. We are not there because of power, position, privileges, perks and the like. We would be shamed if we were to take advantage of God’s goodness and exploit our position for selfish ends.
Fourth, we as leaders are servants and not lords. “Do not lord it over those assigned to you” (v.3a). We are unprofitable servants. So we do our task not with sinful pride but with humility. We have nothing to boast about and so we are not overbearing but rather just engage in selfless service. We are there not to be served but to serve.
Fifth, we are to “be examples to the flock.” (v.3b). We are to reflect Christ. We are to show the way to righteousness, fidelity, obedience and holiness. We show the way to being loving and merciful. We endure and persevere at our task. We allow those we serve to experience the very care of our Lord.
Sixth, we are to be ready to suffer, embracing such as our witness to Christ. Paul exhorted his fellow presbyters as a “witness to the sufferings of Christ” (v.1a). The task is not easy. There will be difficulties, trials, oppression, persecution, suffering and pain. But we look on all these as salvific, in fact helping us move on to holiness. We rejoice in being able to embrace the cross of Christ.
Seventh, we must be confident of our eternal reward. We are as “one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.” (v.1b). We can persevere because we know how it will all turn out in the end. We have our hope of eternal glory with Jesus in heaven. We look forward to Jesus welcoming us and giving us the crown of glory. “And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” (v.4).
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