PJ’s Daily Devotional for Tuesday, May 2, 2017.
It is a privilege to be a leader in the church. It is a sacred responsibility confirmed and sustained by God’s grace. It is neither a job nor a volunteer opportunity; it is ministry. It is God’s calling by God’s grace for God’s glory.
When a leader forgets this, the church is in trouble because the leader is in trouble. The leader starts thinking like an employee or employer, or like a volunteer. In other words, they start thinking it is about them. When a leader forgets that is all by grace; leadership twists and the church loses focus.
Today’s Bible Reading states, “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:1-3).
I often say, “Title follows testimony!” Let me explain, the Church of Jesus Christ should not call anyone into a leadership position who is not already putting God’s grace on display (a visible faith that has a testimony). The people should already have experienced God’s love flowing through the person so that when he or she moves into a position of leadership, it is not a surprise, but a celebration. A grace-filled leader does not need a title to do what he or she has been called to do!
Churches should not give people positions and titles in hopes that they will do some work or provide some resources for the church. That is manipulative and it puts on display a value system void of grace. That is a system that reinforces pride rather than cultivates humility; prioritizes man’s works rather than celebrates God’s grace. Do not give someone a title in hopes that they will produce a testimony in response. Rather, look for growing people who God is using, come along side of them, and invite them into places of leadership. Title follows testimony!
Grace calls someone into leadership in the church and it is only by grace that a leader can remain in leadership. When a leader forgets about grace and starts relying upon works, watch out, that leader and the church they are leading is now in danger. Lovingly go to them and gently call them back to grace. God will go with you.
May all our churches be grateful for God’s grace. That starts with and is modeled by the leaders. That invites us all to be a part of what God is doing in and through His Church to impact communities in the name of Jesus.
Let’s be the Church by going out and serving our communities; being the hands and feet of Christ together. God is for your church and for your community. Let’s join Him in being for our churches and for our communities.
*Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.