“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. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by own good example.” 5:2-3
Even though Peter specifically addresses elders here, we can all apply this to our lives. Think about who your flock is. Right now, mine is a three year old boy. At one point, it was 14 high school aged girls. Who has God entrusted you with?
How to lead them well:
–Check your motives. Was this position an idol to you at one point? Maybe you’re high up at work. Maybe you idolized marriage and child-rearing. Perhaps it’s a role in ministry you’ve attained. Sift through your motives, are you just eager to serve God and this is the way you happen to be doing it? It’s okay if your answer is no, it’s just important to identify your heart and your intentions.
–Would your ‘flock’ describe you as prideful or humble? Be honest.
–How are you leading? What sort of example are you setting? The best authority figures in my life, the ones who I was eager to follow, led by rolling up their sleeves and joining in. If they wanted me to work hard, they worked hard. If they preached patience and humility to me, I listened eagerly because of how well they exemplified those things.
If you need some fine-tuning on how to lead (like me, every day), look at the Perfect Shepherd. Read the gospels, study his interactions and his heart. We have a perfect leader in Him. He gives grace, generously. He disciplines out of love. He’s sacrificial. He’s intentional. He’s perfect!
Reflect on the way you’ve been leading and repent to God the things that need fine-tuning. Another perfect way he leads? He doles out forgiveness and mercy to retentive hearts eagerly.