– Being A Leader In Church
“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work” (1 Timothy 3:1)
The opening scripture says that the desire to lead in the body of Christ is a good one, and is in fact one of the greatest calling of all. However, most times we assume that he was referring to just pastors alone; well, He wasn’t. The Amplified Version uses the terms ‘superintendent’ and ‘overseer’. Now, that could mean overseer of a large congregation, or simply a small group.
In essence, he was talking about leadership on all grounds; whether of the entire church, or just a small Bible group or fellowship in church. And then it goes on to say ‘he must be of good behavior, hospitable, apt to teach and patient’ (v.2-3). These are the criteria that every person expects from leaders, including God; however what approach towards this role is expected of them? Peter reveals that to us.
He wrote “Tend (nurture, guard, guide and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonourably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully; not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation)” (1 Peter 5:2-3 AMP).
This is what he was saying:
(1) SEE IT AS YOUR LIFE NOT A JOB: Until your passion for God’s work grows beyond just about what you can get out of it, you may never give all God expects of you to it. It’s as simple as that. You can’t go past a distance your heart isn’t prepared to tread. So, don’t act like you’re being forced to do it; see it as your responsibility towards God in life. Only by this will you be unmoved even when the frustrations are coming from persons within the church. Paul saw it this way, as his responsibility in life, such that even when he had been persecuted in Achaia he still said “Woe unto me if I preach not the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Nothing could stop him, because to him living for Christ was life’s ultimate purpose- making him a reliable leader to the saints of God, both in and out of season; for he thought of God’s gain before his always.
(2) INFLUENCE PEOPLE, NOT FORCE THEM: Don’t be too judgmental as to think change was humanly; rather show them how to, and they will learn. True leaders don’t just speak, they demonstrate. Jesus did that and taught His disciples to do the same. Remember, your role is to reconcile, not condemn; so don’t try to lord over them, instead be perfect examples of what you teach. And just like Jesus you would save more people by how you live than what you say. That’s how He led, and how He expects you to (Matthew 20:25-28).
LORD God, I thank you for the grace to be able to shine your light towards others; to teach and groom them in your ways. I ask that you help me to walk after the model of Christ; to act how He did, thus bringing many to the fullness of your knowledge, in Jesus Name. Amen.