FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
TENDING THE FLOCK – 5
February 22, 2017
Today’s reading: 1 Peter 5:1-4
Servant leaders are called to “tend the flock of God that is in (their) midst” (v.2a). They are assigned by Jesus, the Chief Shepherd, to care for his people. How do they do so?
First, they look to Jesus to help them endure. They are “witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.” (v.1b). They have no illusions about the work they have been called to. Like Jesus, they are not to be served but to serve, and even give their lives as a ransom for the many. They are a privileged people. They share in the suffering of Jesus but also in his glory.
Second, they do the work “not by constraint but willingly” (v.2b). They must be willing and even eager to serve. After all, they become servants of the Lord of lords. They have no reason to grumble as they accept a service. They carry their crosses with joy.
Third, they do the work “not for shameful profit but eagerly.” (v.2d). They do not have a personal agenda. They do not look to all those placed under their case as a market that provides an opportunity for personal profit. In fact, they give of themselves and their resources freely and willingly.
Fourth, they “do not lord it over those assigned to (them)” (v.3a). They are the leaders but they are the servants. They are at the top but they occupy the lowest place. They are first but they are last. They expend themselves for the care of others.
Fifth, they are to “be examples to the flock.” (v.3b). They are to strive to live exemplary Christian lives. They are to walk the path of holiness. They help bring those under their care to heaven, but need to lead the way. People can look to them and see Christ.
Servant leaders are called to be selfless, self-sacrificing, self-emptying. They serve out of love for the Lord and for his people. They will endure suffering, just as their Master did. But they will be greatly rewarded. “And when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” (v.4).
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