Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Church Needs Good Shepherds

Shepherds have a difficult task but the rewards are awesome.

shepherd, church leaders, attitude

1 Peter 5:1-4 And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you:  

2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3 Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.

4 And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.

The secular example of leadership in world history is one of domination, from the Philistines to the Babylonians to the Romans, they all ruled with an iron fist. Even the Jewish religious leaders took up this autocratic leadership style of force and intimidation. Authority was not usually associated with concern, forgiveness or mercy.

Peter is writing this book to the persecuted church, the leaders in Judaism and the Roman government are intimidating the followers of Jesus to try and get rid of this new movement, Peter is telling the church leaders that in the face of persecution the church needs leaders to lead.

Peter found out the hard way that leaders are made and they are proven when times are tough. Peter failed when the pressures was on, he blew in no time right after boldly announcing his allegiance, Jesus forgave him and he also gave him a fresh mandate to take care of the flock. After that Peter went on to become the solid rock that Jesus had said that he would become.
Matthew 20:25-26 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.
The world had never seen leadership done the way that Jesus did it, the world had never seen a servant be a leader, the only thing that servants did was perform the jobs that nobody else would do. Jesus example shows us that we need to take care of the flock that God has placed in our care and serve them with the right attitude, cheerfully eager to serve God with Christlike humility, self-sacrifice, and affection for the sheep.
Psalm 23:1-3 The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
If you read the entire twenty third Psalm you will catch a glimpse of the perfect shepherd, one that supplies every need, one that leads his sheep to safety, feeds them, brings them through the darkest days and prepares a place for them to live with him in his presence for eternity.

We must remember that the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, will one day return and review our work. Will you be found following his example?