THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
TENDING THE FLOCK - 4
Today’s reading: 1 Peter 5:1-4
What is the task of servant leaders? “Tend the flock
of God in your midst” (v.2a). We are to take care of
God’s flock as Jesus himself, the Chief Shepherd, would.
This is a very important and critical task, as God makes Himself
dependent upon us to care for His people in the way that He
Himself would. Thus we work “as God would have it”
(v.2c). It is an awesome responsibility. How then should we
go about this work?
we must have the right motivation. We work “not by constraint
but willingly” (v.2b). We are not forced into this work.
Rather, having been touched by Jesus, we desire to serve him.
We are willing instruments. We rejoice at the opportunity
to serve our Master.
we work not only willingly but “eagerly” (v.2e).
We recognize the great privilege of caring for God’s
people. We understand that God uses us even in our nothingness.
We realize that we can do a great deal of good for those entrusted
in our care. We are eager to do our share in this divine work.
we have no hidden personal agenda. We work “not for
shameful profit” (v.2d). We serve simply out of love
for God and love for His people. We are not there because
of power, position, privileges, perks and the like. We would
be shamed if we were to take advantage of God’s goodness
and exploit our position for selfish ends.
we as leaders are servants and not lords. “Do not lord
it over those assigned to you” (v.3a). We are unprofitable
servants. So we do our task not with sinful pride but with
humility. We have nothing to boast about and so we are not
overbearing but rather just engage in selfless service. We
are there not to be served but to serve.
we are to “be examples to the flock.” (v.3b).
We are to reflect Christ. We are to show the way to righteousness,
fidelity, obedience and holiness. We show the way to being
loving and merciful. We endure and persevere at our task.
We allow those we serve to experience the very care of our
we are to be ready to suffer, embracing such as our witness
to Christ. Paul exhorted his fellow presbyters as a “witness
to the sufferings of Christ” (v.1a). The task is not
easy. There will be difficulties, trials, oppression, persecution,
suffering and pain. But we look on all these as salvific,
in fact helping us move on to holiness. We rejoice in being
able to embrace the cross of Christ.
we must be confident of our eternal reward. We are as “one
who has a share in the glory to be revealed.” (v.1b).
We can persevere because we know how it will all turn out
in the end. We have our hope of eternal glory with Jesus in
heaven. We look forward to Jesus welcoming us and giving us
the crown of glory. “And when the chief Shepherd is
revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”