Elder Statesmen

Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:1-5

While Peter was the rock upon which Christ would build his church (Matthew 16:18), a first-hand witness of the Lord’s sufferings and resurrection, and there on the mount when Jesus transfigured (Matthew 17:4), he was a fellow elder. This tells us something about church leadership. You can leave your résumé at the door. It’s time to roll up your sleeves.

This passage teaches what role church leaders play; to shepherd the flock; feed, care for, lead, guide, protect. It teaches how this is to be done; voluntarily, according to the will of God, with eagerness, in exemplary fashion. It teaches how this is not to be done; under compulsion, to get rich, high-handedly.

Done well, the elder will receive an “unfading crown of glory,” not on leader appreciation day, but when the Lord returns.

And there’s more, along with young budding leaders, all are to follow the dress code of humility. Humility levels the playing field.

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. I defy more categorization than that. Been studying the Word for 40 years and counting.
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