1 Peter 5:2
“Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;”
Leadership is lonely, and sometimes hard, but if you lead properly, it can be rewarding. You will find that good leaders are always trying to find a better way to lead those whom they love, and yet the best leadership manual is God’s Word. The verse above is one of those leadership truths that God imparts to help every person who leads. God gives four characteristics that leaders will be rewarded for if they will make them a part of their leadership styles.
First, rewarding leadership feeds. God says, “Feed the flock of God which is among you…” Leadership teaches. I want you to notice that God didn’t say to feed another’s flock, but to “Feed the flock…which is among you…” In other words, a leader will do everything in their power to equip those whom they lead to do the work God wants them to do. Poor leadership tells people to do something but never teaches them how to do it. It is the leader’s responsibility to be sure that those whom they lead know what they are supposed to do. The purpose of leadership is not to keep those whom you lead under your control for the rest of their lives, but to teach them so that one day they can lead others and teach them how to serve the LORD.
Second, rewarding leadership oversees. God continues to say, “…taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly…” Leadership doesn’t tear down; instead, it builds up. The word “constraint” means to lead by force. In other words, good leadership compels people to serve the LORD willingly and doesn’t shame them into service. Every leader has a heart for what they do, but they must be careful about letting their heart cause them to shame people into doing what they want them to do. The best leader teaches people in such a manner that they willingly do what they are supposed to do. The reason leaders feed is so that followers will willingly follow. If you feed the flock, they will follow.
Third, rewarding leadership has priorities. God continues to say, “…not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind…” Being of a ready mind means to do it for the proper cause. The proper cause is for the sake of Christ. A good leader doesn’t lead to point people to themselves, but they lead to point people to Christ. If what you do as a leader is for your own gain, you are a leader who leads through constraint and demands people to do something they don’t know how to do. Good leadership always keeps the priorities of the One who we are serving, which is Jesus Christ.
Fourth, rewarding leadership leads by example. Verse 3 says, “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” The greatest leadership is leadership that doesn’t say hear and go do, but it says to follow and see. Didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 4:19, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” My friend, leadership is not sitting in an office telling people what to do, though you have to do that at times, but it is asking people to come with you as you do what you want them to do. As they follow you, it creates a time of dialogue where you can teach them how to do what is right. Rewarding leadership serves together with those whom they lead. The greatest thing about rewarding leadership is when you see those you’ve led by example doing what you taught them to do. That, my friend, is what we are all supposed to do as leaders.