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1 Peter 5:1–4 (NKJV) “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

No matter what your role in God’s church is, your first position is that of follower of Christ. Peter makes this clear when he says, “shepherd the flock of God which is among you.” You are part of the flock of God. No matter what your role may become, you will always be sheep first. You will never stop being a sheep among other sheep ever. There is only one Chief Shepherd and you are not Him. This makes every person in the church equal in the place of servanthood and leadership.

Galatians 3:26–29 (NKJV) “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

In the corporate world, the leadership model is typically depicted as a pyramid with the president at the top and everyone else filling in below according to their responsibilities. When you look at a church, it’s easy to view things the same way, with the pastor at the top and everyone else filling in below. Peter makes it clear that the church of Jesus is different, vastly different. If you used the pyramid model, it would be inverted, with the people who have the most responsibility becoming the greatest servants. Jesus said that “…whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26). If you want to be really great in God’s kingdom, you’ll find yourself growing in humility and servanthood. It’s clear that in God’s kingdom, the way up is the way down!

Mark 10:42–45 (NKJV) “But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.””

As we serve, it can be easy to forget our place and think that we are the shepherd or that a certain church or ministry is ours. Here’s the reality: you will never be so vital that the church can’t move on without you. The church is not ours, and we don’t serve in our own authority but with God’s. So, no matter what your role is, you should be doing your work for the Lord, filled with His Spirit. That’s why any believer can pray over another believer, visit people in the hospital, bring meals and more. God is our pastor, and we are all sheep serving Him together.


Adapted from Ordinary Servant

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