Mar 5, 2023
Healthy church leadership, in the form of skilful shepherds, is a gift from God to bless His people and to ensure the church is well cared for. In our day, when stories of church leader scandals are sadly being exposed, we need the reminder that ultimately, we are safe with Jesus, the true shepherd and overseer of our souls. Jesus is God’s promised shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. In Christ we have the perfection of servant leadership. But it is also Jesus who gifts under-shepherds whom He calls to follow His example. We are not to lead like the Gentiles who domineer and abuse authority, but we are to lead like our servant King. Jesus calls godly men and women to lead like him that churches might be strengthened and so that individuals can flourish.
Verse: 1 Peter 5:1-5
From the *Evangelism as Exiles* series - 1 Peter is written to Christians in Asia minor facing all kinds of challenges… Social ostracism, exclusion, being mocked and maligned and there was therefore, a seductive allure to return to their old pagan way of life. Seeing others in their fellowship backsliding. Encountering the enemy’s fiery darts must all have caused them to doubt the goodness and faithfulness of God. These believers were elect exiles, they didn’t belong, and they knew it!
Fast forward to 21st century Birmingham there’s a similar feeling. John Mark Comer in his book ’Live no lies’ describes a concept sociologists call being a ‘cognitive minority’ where our values, practices, and social norms are at odds with the world around us. There’s been a shift in our culture, where previously the church was held in honour it is now a source of shame. Church teaching and behaviour can often be seen by our world as a problem and not part of the solution… It’s easy to feel ‘dislocated, uneasy, and uncertain about the future. A fight just to stay saved. To stay faithful to Jesus, let alone happy and at peace... It can leave us asking ‘am I crazy to believe what I believe?’ (Comer) If you’re a Christian hanging on and in need of encouragement then 1 Peter is for you! This series will bolster and strengthen your faith that God is good and fully trustworthy. That we have a ‘living hope’ found in the person of Jesus. An inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. And it may even give you confidence to believe that we have some seriously good news to share with those around us!