1 Peter 5:1-4….The elders which are among you, I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. 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. Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
Peter was an apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ, and was in the forefront of Jesus Ministry during his last three years on earth. Peter was sold out to Jesus, his first encounter with Jesus, as written in one of the Gospels was when he had toiled all night at the sea to catch fish, being a fisherman, but caught nothing. When Jesus asked for his boat to be used to sit to preach to the multitude, he willing gave it up to be used. At the end of his preaching, Jesus told Peter to launch his nets for a catch, but Peter told him that they had tried all night but caught nothing, but at His word, he would do so. He launched his net, and the miracle that followed was amazing. The amount of fish that were caught was astounding. Jesus then told him to follow him, that he would make him a fisher of men. He was always the spokesman among the twelve disciples and he was one of the inner caucus of Jesus (out of three) . He got the revelation that Jesus is the Son of God when Jesus asked them “Who He was?” He was there with him at the Mount of Transfiguration when Jesus was transformed, and Moses and Elijah appeared to him in a glorious state, He was with him at the garden of Gethsemane where he prayed his last few hours of prayer agonizing for the cup of sufferings that he was about to drink. When Jesus was finally arrested, Peter tried to defend Jesus by cutting off the ear of one of the servants, and Jesus rebuked him to put back his sword into its sheath, and he put the ear back (restored). While the other disciples scattered after Jesus was arrested, Peter followed at a distance wanting to know what would happen to his master. In the process, he was confronted about his identity, that he was one of his disciples, he denied ever knowing Jesus three times and the cock crowed (as Jesus had already told him).
Peter was an authentic eye witness of all that transpired during Jesus’ Ministry,.and the sufferings that Jesus had to go through, before he was finally nailed to the cross, and his resurrection from the dead. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit which was the promise from the Father came upon all of them and they were mightily used to establish the Church of God (Body of Christ). From then till today, the Church of God has grown and who should be in a better position to advise the elders or leaders that have been placed as Overseers over the church of God. Peter understands what church is, that, it is the Body of Christ. He knew what Jesus, the author and founder of His church went through to establish it. The leaders are placed in a position of authority to stand in for Jesus who is the Head of his church. They are mandated to feed His sheep (congregation) . They are supposed to do this willingly, with no strings attached. The members are entrusted to them not for monetary gain, but to nurture them with the word of God, to guide them so that they will not fall to the hands of the evil one, to lead them to their green pastures where their souls can be fully rested. The members should be able to experience the love of God through their leaders, and prayerfully develop their faith to trust God even in little things. The church of God where the Holy Spirit dwells should be filled with God’s power to wrought miracles that are evidence of a vibrant church.
Many leaders have missed the point. We have turned churches into a money-making and profit-oriented organization, though they were registered as non-profit organization. Leaders need to reexamine the goal of Jesus for setting up his church. First of all, the church does not belong to any one regardless of the name given to it. The Church belongs to Jesus. Ephesians 4:11-13 reads “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the Church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son, that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” Because many of us have failed in our duties as leaders of the gospel, we have caused many members to move from one church to another in search of the truth. Many are being blown about by every wind of doctrine (new teaching), and some have been ensnared by the evil one in the process.
Leaders, let us go back to where we have missed it, repent, and ask for fresh fire to revive us. Members should be able to see the church as a safe haven, where Jesus lives and reigns and where they will have peace, joy, healing, and safety. They should be able to trust us that we are standing in the gap for them so that they will be rapturable when Jesus appears to take us home. Let our preaching be centered on Jesus’ goal which is bringing all of us to the knowledge and standard of Christ. We should not allow the cares of this world to take our eyes off the work that God has given to us, because we need to lead by example, so that we will not miss the CROWN of GLORY prepared for us by our Great Shepherd at His appearing. God bless you all.
Prayer..Lord we need your help, we need fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all your Churches so as awaken us up again. The leaders need you more now that your coming back is very close. Come and save your people LORD. Thank you Jesus for answering our prayers.