‘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.’ 1 Peter 5:2-3 (NIV).
No one wants to have those in leadership positions lording it over them. Instead the best way we are moved and motivated to work and serve in our workplace and church is when leaders come alongside and join us in the work. When leaders listen to us, care for us and encourage us to give our best, only then will we respond with enthusiasm and give ourselves well to the work.
Peter knew that this is how true leaders get the best results from those in their care. True leaders are shepherds who encourage lovingly, work alongside enthusiastically and guard and guide protectively. True leaders are about what they can give, not what they can get. They lead by example, not by force. Their authority is based on service, not power. Leadership is not about becoming great, but about becoming a servant to all (Mark 10:43).
All of us lead others in some way. However, perhaps we have been holding distorted views about what true leadership is really like. God’s kingdom values turn the world’s view of leadership upside down. True leaders exemplify Christ’s humility, kindness, love and care. As leaders, do we look like Christ?
‘Jesus, you came as a great leader to people, yet a humble servant to all. Please empower me to reflect your example of leadership to those in my care. Amen.’