Read 1 Peter 5.
Read verses 1-4. Highlight the ways in which elders are exhorted to lead. Divide your journal or paper into two columns, contrasting the series of statements given. For example:
Be shepherds of the flock:
not because . . . you must but because . . . you are willing (vs. 2) etc.
- Reflect on what it would look like to lead from the “not because” column. What kinds of problems have arisen in the church because of this kind of leadership?
- Reflect on what it would look like to lead from the “but because” column. How can this kind of leadership avert or defuse problems?
Read verses 5-9. Highlight the actions/verbs. Make a list of the qualities. Reflect on the meaning of humility in these verses.
Some things to consider:
- Verse 5: “Clothe yourself “ means to put on garb the of a servant in such a way that it cannot be stripped off easily — it identifies you.
- Verse 6: How do the words “under God’s mighty hand” give depth to the concept of humility?
- Verse 7: How do these words relate to your understanding of humility?
- Verses 8-9: Evil is a real force to be reckoned with in the church. What advice is given regarding evil? What might this look like?
Read the entire chapter again, highlighting the promises that are given. What patterns do you see? Reflect on the encouraging nature of these words.
Consider the role you play in your church. How can the message in this passage help you become a better leader? What changes do you need to consider making in order to better live out these words in your life?
Pray for wisdom, discernment and guidance for the leaders of the church, looking for words of encouragement rather than criticism. If you are a leader, pray through the list in verses 5-9, asking for this kind of spirit in your own life and leadership.