I AM the Chief Shepherd of my flock 1 Peter 5:1-11

Hirelings are not the best option for leading the flock of God

I have said it before, and I will say it again.  God chooses leaders of all kinds from the pool

I am looking for people to care for my flock

I am looking for people to care for my flock

of resources which need leading.  Politicians come from the body of people who they govern, and Church leaders come from the congregations who they will lead.  At least they should.  Church is about preparing people for the work of the Lord; it is about rising up future leaders.  Everyone needs to strive to spiritually qualify to be leaders or else the church will have no other option than to be run by the unqualified or will have to outsource.  Hirelings are not the best option but unfortunately, they often are the only option the church has when the young men don’t want to become leaders in the church. This is a sad state of affairs.

To Elders and Young Men

1 Peter 5:   To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.

Who are you Lord?

I AM the Chief Shepherd and Lord of my Church who loves and cares for my sheep.  I AM the Lord who gives authority to men to govern and lead them and it is I to whom everyone will give account who participates in leading them. You see I AM the God who sees the hearts of those who would be shepherds or leaders.  I am looking for individuals who are servants and who would love my sheep like I do and put the interests of my flock before their own.  I am looking for men who will humble themselves and learn of me.  I AM the God who gives grace to those who yield themselves before me and submit to others.  Because only I AM the God of true power; no other being can rightfully feel proud of themselves, for they only have what I have given them.  And if there is any success in your ministry, it is only because I have allowed it.  I AM also the God who helps you to be strong in your inner man in time of need. It is not up to you to determine the outcome of ministry among my flock, only to be faithful in what I have called you to do; regardless of whether things are hard, or seemingly not as successful as everyone else’s ministries.  Know this; I hate pride.  Pride should not be known among my saints.  I will resist you when you think more highly of yourself than you ought, that your success is from your ability, that those words of wisdom are from you not which you have received from me, or that people are drawn to your ministry because of you and not my Spirit’s drawing.  “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?” you can’t, but I DO. 

Are you concerned for popularity or being a servant?

King Saul was allowed to be selected because the people did not want God to rule them anymore.  But God saw the faithfulness in the heart of King David.  King Saul’s first battle was a fiasco of disobedience and as a result, his kingdom was removed from him.  Whereas King David was deprived of his throne for years as he faithfully led his men through the wilderness and would not act ungodly toward King Saul so as to take his place when he had the chance.  Which king represents you?  Are you a political figure, more concerned with popularity in the church like King Saul (1 Sam 15: 21, 24, 30) or a faithful servant in whatever position you are given like King David?  “He who is faithful in little will be faithful in much.”  He lifts us up in due time.  His time.

Satan does not want to see churches reaching the world

He will do anything he can to destroy churches from the inside out.  He will destroy the testimony of the leaders; he will corrupt young potentials with visions of grandeur.  He will cause hardships and persecutions to come upon the church to whittle down peoples’ interest.  But God is in the business to strengthen the inner man so that we can stand against the evil one.  Remember that this is God’s work, and that he has given you the privilege to join him in it.

Unfortunately we run our churches like businesses.  All too often in the church, we look for leaders who are successful in the business world to run the church like a business.  Just like in the corporate or military world, we hire young men to be placed in the positions of authority in the church because they have been to school.  Nothing puffs up pride like position and nothing brings on God’s resistance like pride.  Young lieutenants are the dread of the enlisted men and NCOs alike.  Rather than start low and work up the ladder they are thrown into leadership with more pride than knowledge of how things work.  Satan uses man’s own pride to sever the relationship between God and his under-shepherds and the result is that the church is destroyed from the inside out.

The church should be about making future leaders

Ashamedly, failed churches mark the landscape all across the country.  They fail

Teaching future leaders

Teaching future leaders

for many reasons but often it is because in a down turned economy they can’t afford to keep the doors open.  But what is a church?  And why do we confuse what a church is, with what a church needs?  What should our churches be more concerned about anyway?  The inner man.  A church is not a building but a group of people helping and standing together in these hard times.  A church is to be about building up people to become future leaders to flocks who have not been formed as of yet around the globe.

God sees the heart of those who would be leaders

Clothe yourself with humility.  Don’t be worried about position, authority and power in the church. Because position is not about wielding power over others, it is about having the liberty and faith to serve others.  It is about knowing God and what he wants us to do as a body in this generation.  Young men have a tendency to want position and do not like to have to submit to other men telling them what to do.  This is why young believers are not to have positions of authority too quickly.   God desires a willing attitude of service, people leading others by exampleHe sees the heart of men who would be leaders.  He who is faithful in little will be faithful in much.  He saw the humility of Moses.  Unfortunately even in the church, leadership becomes a popularity contest.

The problem is that the older we get the more proud we get of what we know and have done.  Why can’t we use our experience to remember to humble ourselves before the Lord and others?  Why as young men can’t we learn that we do not know as much as we think we know?  The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.  If we truly acknowledged him for who he is and the power he holds we would realize how lacking we really are, and how dependent we are upon him for everything.   Then we would be in a place where he could use us to lead his flock, and not be just a hireling – Maybe, that is up to him.

More to come,

Steve

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About strostrud

Missionary with New Tribes Mission since 1989
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