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, 2 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; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 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
Peter identifies himself as a fellow elders and appeals to elders that he is writing to. An elder is simply a church leader who has shown themselves to be faithful. One who has demonstrated the character of Christ in all that they do. All of us who follow Jesus Christ will one day share in the Lord’s glory. We are called to endure until the end.
We are called to shepherd God’s people with diligence and compassion. We are called to do all things in love. There have been those who have been placed in leadership who have failed to be faithful shepherds of the Lord and have instead used their position for selfish and destructive means. They have injured many in the process while bringing shame and dishonor to the name of Jesus.
As a leader and shepherd of God’s people we are not called to Lord it over people and do all things according to God’s will. There is nothing uglier than one who is in a position of leadership who does not know how to lead. Leadership in God’s kingdom is not about position or title, it is about service and sacrifice. Those who are truly great leaders in God’s kingdom are the greatest servants on the earth and reflect the character of Christ in all things.
There is coming a day when the Lord shall return and those who have endured till the end and demonstrated their faithfulness to the Lord shall receive a great crown in God’s kingdom. There are great rewards that await those who have been faithful to the Lord. There are some who simply fail to diligently serve the Lord. They have placed their faith in Christ but do nothing with the gifts and talents God has given them. But for those who are faithful great rewards await them in God’s kingdom.
Those who are young in the faith are called to be subject to those in leadership. We are called to do all things in humility and if we are truly walking in humility we will honor those who are in leadership. God pours His grace and mercy upon those who walk in humility, but for those who are proud and arrogant are resisted by the Lord. Those who are proud and arrogant will be broken by the Lord. May we do all things in the character and nature of who Jesus is, who being the Lord of glory, humbled Himself, took on the life of a servant, and went to the cross and gave His life. May our lives simply bring Him glory.