THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
TENDING THE FLOCK - 3
Today’s reading: Acts 20:28-38
The task of a servant leader is very important for the life
of the Christian community. As such, it is a task not to be
taken lightly. It is a charge and a responsibility given by
God Himself, to accomplish God’s purposes.
such, a servant leader starts with looking to himself and
the state of his spiritual health. “Keep watch over
yourselves” (v.28a). At times we might be so zealous
as to caring for the flock, but neglect our own spiritual
lives. We might spend so much time attending to the needs
of others, but not give enough time to prayer and the Bible.
Know that the enemy seeks to bring down leaders, because in
being able to do so, the enemy brings down many others who
look up to the leader.
servant leader, in securing himself, must have no agenda or
priority other than the Lord’s. He certainly must not
be in the service for personal gain, whether money or power
or prestige. “I have never wanted anyone’s silver
or gold or clothing.” (v.33). He is there not to be
served but to serve, not to receive but to give (though he
receives much grace and blessings from God). He knows the
truth that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
secured the “home front,” a servant leader now
is to keep watch “over the whole flock of which the
holy Spirit has appointed you overseers” (28b). He keeps
watch over those entrusted in his care, whether just a household
or a whole district or a whole nation. He is to oversee or
supervise how people’s lives in Christ are going.
servant leader keeps watch over the flock of God, the sheep
that belong to God. He is to “tend the church of God”
(v.28c). He is appointed to stand in the place of God, to
give the care that God would give His people. That is quite
a charge. This is especially considering what it cost God
to gather His flock to Himself, “that he acquired with
his own blood.” (v.28d). Now what is the extent to which
we are to serve God’s flock? Well, if Jesus gave his
blood and his life, we too, in following in the footsteps
of our Master, are to give our all in tending to his flock.
watching over the flock, the servant leader must realize that
the enemy will never rest in trying to wrest God’s flock
away, especially when they were already at some time under
his dominion. Thus “savage wolves will come among you,
and they will not spare the flock.” (v.29). These wolves
will be savage, seeking to devour. They will seek to kill
the life of the Spirit that is in people.
there is also the enemy within. “And from your own group,
men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciple
away after them.” (v.30). There are the modernists within
our church, turning the truth on its head, where good is now
bad and bad is good. There are the dissidents within the community,
who will insist on veering away from the authentic charism,
life and mission. There are those lounging in the Country
Club, discouraging brethren from aggressively pursuing a massive
evangelization. All these draw the flock away from authentic
discipleship and into a life more conformed to the world.
so the enemy is all over, without and within. It can even
be ourselves, as we slacken in our pursuit of holiness and
Christian perfection. Wolves are prowling outside and inside
the sheepfold. “So be vigilant” (v.31a).
the servant leader must keep those under his charge in prayer.
“And now I commend you to God and to that gracious word
of his that can build you up and give you the inheritance
among all who are consecrated.” (v.32). He must intercede
for them. He must bring before the Lord those negative aspects
of their lives that they themselves might not be seeing. Then
he must also be bold enough to directly guide, admonish and
counsel them regarding their areas of needed growth. It might
take a long time and require perseverance. Like Paul, “for
three years, night and day, I unceasingly admonished each
of you with tears.” (v.31b). We give our very heart
to the work.
flock, those who are consecrated to Him, have an inheritance
from their Father. It is the task of servant leaders to help
them fully acquire it.