Summary: When serving God’s people is no longer viewed as a privilege, man has a tendency to corrupt spiritual leadership.
1. Spiritual leadership is NOT something one takes upon himself.
a. It’s a privilege, a stewardship God entrusts to men & women in overseeing the ministry of His flock.
1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
b. When serving God’s people is no longer viewed as a privilege, man has a tendency to corrupt spiritual leadership… I believe many go wrong right here!
c. Some just think they deserve to lead. They’ve earned it!
d. But spiritual leadership, like salvation is a gift received, not earned because we’ve done something to deserve it!
Psalm 75.6-7 For exaltation comes neither from the east Nor from the west nor from the south. 7 But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another.
NOTE: I believe that God has always been and is now looking for pastors NOT professionals. Ministers NOT Masters.
• Shepherds & Servants not secular CEO’s.
• It’s not gathering a crowd that counts, but a man that lays down his life for the flock.
• Look at John 10:7ff
A PRIVILEGE… the reality is that God DOESN’T NEED any of us!
• But has chosen to choose, use, & empower us!
• What an honor it is to be a vessel for His glory. It’s wonderful!
SO Pastor Peter here, winding down his letter, addresses the leadership, because he knows…
1 Peter 4.17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God…
I. (5:1-4) Shepherd the Flock
1. (1) I exhort the elders among you.
a. Peter comes with an exhortation, not as above the leaders.
b. Not as over the leaders. But as a FELLOW elder.
c. He doesn’t call himself the pope, or the absolute authority of the church… just a fellow elder.
NOTE: Word ‘ELDER’ can be translated ‘pastor, elder, overseer’.
a. You’ll find they are all used interchangeably in the NT.
b. Keep in mind ELDER ‘presbuteros’ describes the MAN, a mature man, not necessarily in age, but in spiritual maturity.
c. BISHOP, episcopos, describes the MINISTRY, it means overseeing, not overbearing or lording over, but watching over and caring for the flock of God.
d. PASTOR is the METHOD, one who feeds & tends the flock.
e. And as you read through the NT you’ll see them used interchangeably by the Holy Spirit.
THIS has led to some confusion among churches then & now because of the different styles of church government.
• There are basically 4 types of church government today.
• Each one can point to various scriptures to support their view.
• That’s why we can’t make it a point of division.
PRESBYTERIAN – You have a plurality of elders ruling with co-equal authority within the church.
EPISCOPAL – One person (bishop) oversees many other leaders & churches throughout a specific region.
CONGREGATIONAL – everything in the church is ratified by a church vote & nothing moves forward without full approvals.
PASTOR LED – Like with Moses, Paul, Timothy, and such, God raises up a man to pastor his flock raising up spiritual leadership from within the local body.
There is another model that is not biblical that has recently come up in the last 20 years…
CEO BUSINESS MODEL – The pastor is the CEO of the corporation makes decisions using worldly business schemes & techniques.
• This one we can reject wholeheartedly. God doesn’t want CEO’s or business gurus to RUN his church.
• But as to the other 4 we see in Scripture.
NOTE: I find that the form of government is not as important as the character & integrity of those entrusted with spiritual leadership.
• It’s not a position for the person, it’s a position of their heart.
• God is looking for:
• “LEADERS WHO SERVE & SERVANTS WHO LEAD!”
NOW every single spiritual leader in our church and every church would do well to meditate through the next few verses.
• I see at least 8 ingredients here that will help guide your Servanthood and keep your eyes on Jesus.
#1 – v2 - Spiritual Leaders ARE UNDERSHEPHERDS.
• Right? Jesus v4, is the Chief Shepherd.
• We need to always remember, this church is not ours!
• This is His church, His flock, and His bride.
• We don’t serve in our own authority, but in His!
• A LOT OF GUYS get off thinking They ARE the shepherd and that the church or particular ministry is theirs. It’s not!
#2 – v2 - Spiritual Leaders are SHEEP TOO. (among you)
• We need to always rem: we’re sheep alongside each other.
• Spiritual leadership doesn’t place you over but really under.
#3 – v2 - Spiritual Leaders are SERVANTS.