Monday, May 9, 2016

1 Peter 5:1-4

1 Peter 5:1-4
Contemporary English Version (CEV)

  Church leadership is challenging.  There are a multitude of responsibilities requiring a wide variety of abilities, and any group of people will, at times, develop conflicts and strife that demand wisdom and discernment from the leader.  Church leaders are called to inspire and teach, as well as comfort and counsel.  It's a hard job, asking much of the leader and often offering few benchmarks allowing for honest evaluation.  Success and failure aren't marked by annual performance reviews, but are distilled in relationships and the stories of individuals over time, often years or decades.
  It's not a job to pursue for riches.  (While there are some individuals who are fundraising for a new coat of paint for their private plane, I could write books about how wildly I disagree with their chosen direction of resource stewardship.)  It's a calling to pursue out of love for God and God's creation, particularly God's created people, who are separated from God by sin, often unable to see or understand the depths of God's love and the breadth of God's grace.  The church leader's job is to communicate both the willingness and eagerness of God to forgive and the responsibility of the church member to respond with grateful praise, offering oneself as a living sacrifice back to God, enjoying God and God's gifts with wisdom.
  Church leadership is challenging, and so we are called to pray for our church leaders, to give thanks for their willingness to pour themselves out for the sake of Christ's beloved church.  May we support, love and encourage them, that they may see the church at work in the world and the love of God active in relationships, that they may continue to lead wisely and boldly, so that the Gospel may be proclaimed far and wide through the work of the church.

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