Saturday, December 8, 2018

Encouragement for Church Leaders


1 Peter 5:1-4 ESV “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. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”

We are all witnesses of the sufferings of Christ. We’ve studied his life, and how he lived and suffered for each of us.

Since we identify with Christ’s sufferings, we are also partakers of those sufferings. We suffer for Christ. And so we also have access to the glory that is going to be revealed.

Christ charges each of us, to shepherd the flock of God. Pour your heart and soul into the work of the ministry. Don’t do it because you have to, or because God is making you, or you feel obligated. But simply serve willingly.

Don’t serve for any earthly gain, not for status, or for power or money, but eagerly serve for Christ, to the glory of Christ, humbly, because you love Jesus.

It says 'do not be domineering over those in your charge.' But instead be an example to them.

Why should we do this? Because, as shepherds, we know the chief shepherd will appear, and he will judge us impartially for how we’ve conducted those placed in our care, during our time on Earth. We will be held accountable. 


It amazes me and fills me with holy awe that God would entrust such a vital task to people like you and me.  But God seems to choose the least likely people to press forward his plan for humanity.

One of the most thought provoking and evocative scriptures for me is from James 3:1 and it says: “Not many of you should become teachers my fellow believers because you know we who teach will be judged more strictly." 

This scripture fills me foreboding, and well it should. We’ve got a general judgment, and then there's the judgment God will render on teachers and leaders of the church, which will actually be a more strict judgment. There will be more guidelines and rules and higher standards that we were suppose to meet. I'd be worried that I wouldn't make the cut in the first one, much less the second! 


But God is faithful.  He makes the impossible, possible.  If we respond in obedience and prayer through this life, He will ensure we make it home safely.

My concluding thought to all of us, is that we tremble at this thought, and so conduct our business before God that we are found to be without reproach, and working impartially to bless God’s people. 


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