Jesus saves his church, builds his church, loves his church, and leads his church. But how does he lead it? Jesus says that the church is like a flock of sheep, and that he is the Good Shepherd that lays down his life for the sheep1. Jesus is the ultimate authority and Head of the church2, the Apostle who plants a church3, the Leader who builds the church4, the Senior Pastor of the church5, and it is ultimately Jesus who closes the doors of churches when they have become faithless or fruitless6. Jesus is our Senior Pastor! That’s good news because Jesus is sovereign and he loves us. (1 John 10:14-15, 2Eph 1:9, 3Heb 3:1, 4Matt 16:18, 51 Peter 5:4, 6Rev 2:5).
Jesus then calls1, qualifies2, and raises up3 godly men4 to be Pastors that love both Jesus and the church. As they follow Jesus, Pastors are to lead by feeding the flock, guiding the flock, protecting the flock from false teachings, false teachers, and false beliefs, and are ultimately the ones that are held accountable to Jesus for the health of the flock. In 1 Peter 5:1-15, the Apostle Peter tells us that Pastors are to lead willingly, not under compulsion; eagerly, not for shameful gain; by example, not by domineering; and finally, Pastors are to lead for Jesus, not for themselves or for the praise or reward of man. Jesus is the Pastor’s rewarder and is himself the reward5! Pastors are to humbly lead the church to Jesus and for Jesus by the preaching and application of the Word of God, and church members are to humbly submit to and follow the leadership of their Pastors for their joy and God’s great glory. (1 Acts 20:28, 21 Tim 3:1-7, 31 Peter 5:5, 41 Tim 2:11-3:7, 51 Peter 5:4)
1 PETER 5:1-5 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Q.1 Was there anything from Sunday’s sermon or the big idea that was new to you or had an affect on you? Did you hear anything that raised more questions in your mind?
Q.2 What stands out to the in 1 Peter 5:1-5 and why?
Q.3 Why is humility paramount in the character of a leader?
Q.4 What are the possible distorted motives for leadership?
Q.5 What is the reward for elders who lead as examples for the flock?
Q.6 What are the implications that Jesus has set up the leadership of the church?
Q.7 What does it mean for you to subject yourself to the elders? Why is this important for the health of the church? How can we clothe ourselves in humility toward one another?
*Pray for each other to be submissive and to humbly follow the lead of the Pastors that Jesus has placed over you for your joy.
Q.8 How have we failed in this and where do we need to repent? Pray for each other in light of your answers.
In all humility, let us be obedient to our Senior Pastor Jesus for our joy and for his glory. “Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).