Rock of Ages
A Church that Stands
The divine mandate for leadership. 1 Peter 5:1-4
- Charged to watch over the flock.
- Looking out for threats that would hinder.
- Look out for needs that arise and meet them.
- Look for the lost or the straying and reach out to them.
- Called to serve, not lord over them.
- A serving mindset calls the leader to lead for the benefit of others.
- To lord over the church is to operate from a motive of control and wielding power.
- Commanded to lead by example.
- Providing a template of how to live.
- Going first in providing steps to follow.
- Commendation for good leadership will come in a manner that will last forever.
- There is an eternal value to all we do in the church.
- A good leader has his sights set beyond this world.
Church culture from top to bottom. 1 Peter 5:5-7
- Mutual submission permeates the healthy church. (5a)
- Submission to government, church leaders, family structures, and yes, fellow believers.
- What comes from the top must also come from the bottom. (5a)
- Elder being old is not always the case (i.e. Timothy).
- A spirit of service must be reciprocated.
- Example provided by leaders is a charge to all of those who follow.
- A humble spirit brings unity throughout. (5b)
- It is offered from top down, bottom up, and sideways.
- We are aligned with God and become benefactors of his favor when humility is at the core of our spirit.
- God blesses the humble, forward-moving church. (6)
- The church is guided by the vertical not the horizontal. (7)
- Anxieties render you ineffective and hindered in moving forward.
- God cares for you, and faith enters in when we can let go of our penchant to try and control that which we cannot control.
Leading from a position of strength. 1 Peter 5:8-9
- Leading well requires seeing well. (8a)
- Cannot be led by two opposing forces.
- Immersing yourself into the Word to know the heart of God and his vision for life is essential to expose the world’s principles that would have you serve yourself with fleeting pleasures.
- Leading with awareness that there is an adversary who seeks to destroy you. (8b)
- The devil is not resting, he wants to you to self-implode or minimally render you ineffective.
- He is looking for the unsuspecting.
- We are called to oppose and resist our adversary. (9)
- Not just notice him and be aware.
- Opposition requires active resistance.
- This is not only a charge to the shepherds but also to the sheep.
- The battle is painful and collectively experienced worldwide.
- Are you a lone sheep without a shepherd and flock? If so, give your life to Jesus and join the flock—the church!
- What elders or pastors in your life have you found to be inspiring and trustworthy? What about their leadership style has impacted you? What about their example could you better apply to your own life?
- What area of your life do you find pride stands in the way of a humble spirit? How has this hindered you in your relationship with God and others? Deeper study- Isaiah 66:2.
- Where do you feel most vulnerable to the enemy (devil) in leading from a position of strength—anxiety/worry, control, lack of knowing God’s Word, trust/faith? Pray together with someone in regard to that area vulnerability and give it over to God’s mighty hand.
Benediction: 1 Peter 5:10-11
In light of the shifting shadows of thought within our culture, it is the longing of many to find something to cling to that does not move. Jesus is that steadfast rock that we can stand on historically, now, and for the ages to come. These two epistles are Peter’s final charge to the church to give strength and confidence that is rooted in the life changing work of Jesus Christ.