Clippings from “Spiritual Leadership”

Day 5 of J. Oswald Sanders and Spiritual Leadership.

Chapter 7 = Insights on Leadership from St. Peter

Sanders reviews St. Peter’s words of counsel to leaders in the churches:

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed:  2 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;  3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.  4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.  5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” {5 Prov. 3:34}  6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:1-7 NIV)

Some words from Sanders that made my pen get busy underlining:

  • “The spiritual leader cannot have money in his eyes when service beckons.”
  • “…the greed Peter warns against extends beyond money to fame and prestige, which are sometimes a more insidious temptation.” (Paul Rees)
  • “I’m not sure which of the two occupies the lower sphere, he who hungers for money or he who thirsts for applause.” (J. H. Jowett)
  • “A leader must be a worthy example for the people.”
  • “The leader must be clothed with humility.” I always find this one interesting, particularly in light of the above statement. It takes a leader close to God to be able to humbly say, “live your life like I live mine” (see 1 Corinthians 11:1).

I particularly loved how Sanders wrapped up this chapter:

Are we alone in the leader’s role? Do we work in solitude? Not at all, Peter announces. Rather our frustrations and worries are shared with God, who offers relief and reprieve. “Cast all of your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). The Christian leader need not fear that care of the flock of God will be too heavy a burden. By God’s invitation, the leader can transfer the weight of spiritual burdens onto shoulders bigger, stronger, broader, and more durable. God cares for you. Let worries go!

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