Intro: What are motivations to taking on church leadership?
Sense of obligation: the "someone has to do it" mentality; or feeling pressured by others to do it
Arrogance: you can do it better than someone else
Control: you have to have your way
To serve: to follow Jesus' teaching about servant leadership--take your cross, be the least among all
The elders, in 1 Peter 5, are to be servants first
1. Elders are to be leaders in suffering, exhorting and equipping the flock to endure. Humility is needed, to be able to lead properly and not selfishly or by control.
not under compulsion (obligation)...but willingly
not for shameful gain (arrogance and prestige)...but eagerly
not domineering (control)...but as examples
2. But the rest of the church, the flock, needs to follow. Humility is needed to submit.
Many times people don't want to submit. We don't like the concept. We want to be in charge. We think we know better.
But we are called to "submit" ourselves to the elders, to follow their lead and support their ministry. This includes supporting the elders in their work, as they work to support us in our lives, without creating trouble.
3. All of us need humility, in whatever capacity.
Peter tells us to "clothe" ourselves with humility, to wear it, to let it be part of us. (5)
Humility is required, but not as a technique to help us have good relationships.
The humility Peter teaches is humility that is rooted in knowledge of who God is and where he is leading us.
4. Humility must be directed towards God first. True humility comes from seeing ourselves before God and then seeing others as better, or even greater, than ourselves, just like Jesus taught.
This is why elders serve, and lead with humility--because they share in the sufferings of Christ and will be partakers in the glory to be revealed (1).
They await the crown of glory to be given by the Chief Shepherd, Jesus, when he returns.
In the meantime, they are humble before him and it leads to humility before you.
But we also need to practice humility, casting our anxieties on him (7).
5. Humility enables us to stay alert and sober-minded against sin and the devil (8).
Arrogance leads us to believe we don't sin, or that we are not susceptible to sin, but humility before God teaches us that we are sinful but are saved by his grace. Our inclination is to turn to sin, so we must resist. But we can only resist if we have the proper humility to see ourselves as we truly are.
6. Humility enables us to endure suffering (10).
We see and know that suffering is connected to our salvation; it is part of God's will.
7. Humility enables us to give glory to God (11).
When we see ourselves as we truly are, and we see and know what God has done for us, we exercise true humility and give all praise and glory to God.