The Chief Shepherd
Read 1 Peter 5:1–4
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
Although Peter addresses the elders in the church in this passage, his appeal to them reveals his view of leadership—a leadership we also see in Jesus. That is, Peter sees the leader’s job in the church to be a shepherd. A shepherd cares for, tends to, and protects the sheep. And, Peter says, the leader sets an example for those who follow. In other words, as Christians, we are to lead like Jesus. He said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them … Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant … just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25–28).
- Reflect on the best leaders you’ve had in your life. What made them good? What characteristics of a shepherd did you see in them?
- In the areas in which you have influence, how would you describe your leadership style? Where do you need work? How would those you lead describe your leadership style?
- What is God seeking to draw your attention to through today’s passage?
God, thank You that You are my Chief Shepherd, the one who leads and guides me. Give the leaders in my life wisdom and servant’s hearts. Transform my heart to be more servant-oriented and compassionate. Remove any judgmentalism or skepticism that might creep into my thoughts or words, and allow me to influence those around me for Your sake, with love and grace. Amen.
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