I find that re-reading 1 Peter 5:2-11 helps keep my ministry priorities in order. I read and meditate on this scripture at least four times a year.
1 Peter 5:2-11: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. NKJV
Here are some of my reflections on this passage.
Verse two tells me. Shepherd the flock – First of all leaders must lead. That sounds simple, but what God is telling us is that we are responsible for the ministry and the people He has given us. We cannot default to someone else. I should be a willing leader and eagerly serve the people. Remember Jesus is our example as a leader. What did he say? For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) We are not to serve because we going to get something out of it, but to serve so that God is glorified through us.
Verse three tells me. Not as being lords over … Not to be overbearing as a leader. As leaders, it is our responsibility to teach and lead our people into the vision God has given us. We do that by discovering their giftings and placing them into the part of the vision that will bring them success as they help fulfill the overall vision. As leaders, it is our responsibility to help all who are under our leadership to succeed, to help to bring victory to all who are involved. Then make sure we celebrate the victory and thank them for their service.
We also must be the godly example, as the TMCI ordination service says, “for the people under your care to follow-day in and day out-offering yourself always to be judged by those who need to meet the Lord”.
Verse Five and Six: submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, Reminds us that we should submit to other believers especially those who are spiritually mature. I encourage you, like me, to get someone who will hold you accountable and is willing to ask the hard questions and willing to speak into your life. Proverbs 11:14 says: Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety. We need to humble yourselves before God. Remember it is what God wants in your life, not what you or your friends, your relatives, or even the one you minster to wants.
We are part of a theocracy: Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Remember as we lift Jesus up, He will lift us up in His timing.
I am reminded that when God give us a vision, we are not ready to complete it. He first has to make us the persons He needs so He starts the process of refining us for the ultimate propose he has for us. It takes time. All I know is that God had to get a lot of Bob out of Bob before he could start using me. He is still refining me.
Verse seven. casting all your care upon Him. The quicker we learn this, the better off we will be. Remember Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” So, if you are struggling with ministry, it could be that you are taking on things that you are not supposed to. If you do not have peace of mind, turn it over to God and let him have it. Worry or fretting over the situation will not solve it. Once you give it, do not take it back. This casting all your care upon Him is 1)something most leaders give mental assent to, but have trouble doing.
Verse eight 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion,Be sober or have self-control and be alert or watchful, because Satan is always trying to exploit a situation. He always attacks at the weakest point. Sometimes it is with our families, especially our children, but many times through carnal Christians in our ministries. We have to be alert, because small problems become big problems if not addressed. Do not let Satan get a foothold: deal with it quickly.
Verse nine:Resist him, steadfast in the faith Resist Satan and He will flee. It is like facing down a bully when you were a kid. Most of the time the bully was a lot of talk, but no power. Satan, whose name mean deceiver, only can talk big, but has neither authority nor power to back it up. Jesus has taken that away from him. Stay in faith; do not let the circumstanced dictate your feelings. Let the Word of God dictate your feelings.
Remember there is nothing new under the sun, Satan’s tactics have been tried on all the brethren – what you are going through many other leaders have been through. Read about some of the leaders in the Bible and see what they went through. And remember what John said: He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. Our faith is built on Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
Verse Ten and Eleven But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen These verses are a great comfort to me as I know even though I go through these trials, Jesus is always there, will restore me and make me strong, firm and steadfast. And I glorify Him for all that He does for me and through me. Amen
Also less you thought I forgot Verse Four you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. Our reward for our leadership is we will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. And we will have the privilege of laying it at the feet of Jesus when we get to heaven.
I pray this will help you in your leadership walk,
Bishop Bob Coulter
The book I would recommend at this time is Developing the leader within you by John Maxwell