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Special Concern

Special Concern

26 July 2010

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 46-49; 1 Peter 5

Scripture:

1 I have a special concern for you church leaders. I know what it’s like to be a leader, in on Christ’s sufferings as well as the coming glory. 2 Here’s my concern: that you care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously. 3 Not bossily telling others what to do, but tenderly showing them the way. (1 Peter 5:1-3 MSG)

Peter was a leader of leaders. Personally commissioned by Jesus himself, he knew what it was like to be honored and used powerfully by God and he knew the price leaders pay – the responsibility, the attacks and criticism, and in his case the actual persecution.

Peter had a special concern for the leaders of the church for two reasons; he knew the pressures and challenges of leadership, and he knew that the church would succeed or fail through the ministry of its leaders. It’s not that he cared less for the other people, it’s that he knew how important the role of leaders really is.

But Peter’s challenge in these verses is for the leaders to think not of themselves but of the people they were leading and of God whom they were serving. Peter said, “Care for God’s flock like a faithful shepherd, leading, feeding, and protecting them. And do it freely and joyfully to please God and not to please yourself or impress others. And don’t be mercenary – don’t be distracted by self-interest. Just lead and serve and leave the reward up to God. Don’t boss people around - first show, then tell.”

That’s good advice to leaders then and now. It’s rewarding to be a leader of God’s people, but let the reward be in God’s timing and by God’s plan. It’s challenging and often sacrificial to be a leader of God’s people. Do it with a willing and joyful heart. Don’t boss people around like a military general, but lead them gently like a shepherd.

Prayer:

Father, Thank you for the privilege of influencing people to follow your son Jesus Christ. Help me to serve by leading and to lead by serving. Please help me and all my fellow servant leaders to lead, feed, and protect your flock as faithful shepherd leaders. Amen.

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