We have looked at Paul's remarks to the Ephesian leadership, now let's examine what Peter had to say to church leaders about their role and demeanor while overseeing His flock. Let's examine the first portion of his exhortation:
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing (1 Peter 5:1-2).
Peter did not exalt himself above the church leaders even though he was an eyewitness of Jesus' work and ministry. He acknowledged that his and their reward was yet to come, which let's us know that he is about to tell the leaders that their role is not one that leads to personal gain. Instead they are to care for and shepherd God's flock. They must not see their work as a burden or compulsory, for there is a big difference between work that is done because one has to do it versus work of those who willingly and enthusiastically choose to do it, accepting their call as a privilege, not a burden.
Are you willingly leading God's people? If so, are you exerting energy and creativity as you lead and care, or are you doing the minimum? Are you a disciple of Christ who happens to be called to leadership or do you see yourself and your work as elite, placing you above the people you shepherd? As we will see repeatedly emphasized in future studies, the call to leadership is not one of privilege but of self-denying service, through which you will share in the sufferings of Christ, the Chief Shepherd.