Thoughts On…Leadership: Accountability (Still More…)

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; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. (1 Peter 5:2-4)

Jesus shows us what a true shepherd is. The sheep know their master’s voice. Sheep follow him.

Can we call on our honor and our honesty and say before God that we are acting as shepherds? Can we bow in humble earnestness and say we are doing all that we can to protect His flock? Do the people God has placed under your care know your voice? Will they follow you?

Our call is to be faithful to the Full Counsel of God and to be faithful to His children. We will know we are meeting His command because His church will hear our voice. They will know we are “Watchmen” serving God.

God’s Word says to serve “as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be;….” I know in my heart I want to serve because He has called. I am willing. I am willing because God put the desire in my heart.

Being honest and on my honor I confess to those I trust to hold me accountable I am ill equipped for the task of leading His flock. If I had to depend on my own steam I’d certainly fail. But, it is by God’s command; by His blessing that I want to serve as an overseer of His flock. It is by His power that one day I might.

He sees my dilemma. He sees my doubt and He strengthens me through it.

God’s leader is “…not greedy for money, but eager to serve….” I speak for myself: It makes me uncomfortable to take money for what He has called me to do. I know the church has an obligation to pay its workman. I would not want to deprive the church of its blessing by refusing the payment the church offers. At the same time, if I give it back, then the church should not deprive me of the blessing that comes from the giving.

Paul was a tent maker. He did not take money for the work he did for the church. He didn’t want it to become a reason for folks to find fault with him or with the Gospel he preached.

A leader is eager to serve. We look for places to show His Light. We don’t settle in and wait for the next opportunity to please God. We are always on the alert. We are always in study. We are always ready to answer His call.

All the while the “overseer” has to keep his own life clean and righteous. He must remain above reproach. He cannot neglect his family while attending to the needs of the church and the needs of its membership. This is reason to have other elders holding the overseer accountable.

It is a blessing to be able to teach. We are commanded to “…not lording (lord) it over those entrusted to you (us), but being examples to the flock.” The blessing to teach comes with a blessing to discern. A preacher is led by God to understand some of God’s mysteries and explain them to those he is charged to teach. With the knowledge God gives we are to teach the truth in loving kindness with gentleness.

Each day from the time we awake to the time we lay down to rest our focus should be on Christ Jesus. If our attention is to the Light then the Light will radiate from us. We will be examples of His life.

When we are at our lowest is when we need to shine the brightest. The only source of strength that matters is that which God gives.

About Jim Barnes

A man seeking to please the Lord. A man striving to abide in Christ Jesus. A man whose hope is to see just one more come into the fold.
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