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Leading The Flock With Humility


"Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

Good Morning my beloved,


Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad to have all of you here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift all of you up in our prayers. We respectfully ask that you would do the same for us. We are so grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others has brought about tremendous results. Where will God's Word be heard today? With your continued help, and prayers, may God's Word will continue to reach those who most need to hear it.
I believe that church leadership is very important. It is essentially impossible to separate the message from the messenger. Our reflection of what is being said is strongly influenced by who is saying it and how it is being said. However, this isn’t only true for preachers, it is universally true for all communicators no matter their message. That said, church leadership is important.
Most churches rise and fall with the quality of leadership. This is especially true when the church is going through a difficult time, times of stress or under attack. Yet, leaders cannot lead without supportive people around them. Even with strong leaders and supportive followers, that ubiquitous sin of human pride, often gets in the way and causes many, many problems.
I often hear stories from people who have moved away, who say how much trouble they’ve had finding a good church. A church that teaches sound biblical doctrine, a pastor that teaches the "truth," without watering down the message. A pastor who faithfully preaches God’s Word. There is certainly no church or pastor that is perfect, we're are human, therefore, we all have flaws. 
In the world in which we live, it is often tempting for a pastor to please the congregation, preaching messages that are only uplifting and encouraging, messages that make the people feel good about themselves, and too often, their sin. While this may be pleasing to the congregants, it is not pleasing to God. And a pastor's first responsibility, the One to whom he is ultimately accountable, is not to the congregation, or a board of director, it is to God. A pastor is accountable before God. 
There is soon coming the day, when you will stand before Him, and give account for your service to the Lord. Therefore, I caution the pastors of today with our Lords words in Matthew chapter 7, in which He says "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’"
Strong church leadership requires a strong commitment to God’s Word, which is our only authority for faith and practice.  

Let us pray

Heavenly Father,

Father, as always we thank You for Your Word for us, we bless You for the great reminder. Lord, we pray that Your Spirit would speak to those who are leading Your churches, calling them to teach Your flock the truths in Your Word. Convict the hearts of those who are teaching false doctrine, call them to full repentance. We pray for those in the flock, that You would open their ears, granting them wisdom and discernment to know when they are being mislead and hold the teachers accountable. 

Lord, cause us to teach Your Word, to be ever faithful as shepherds, faithful to Christ, the Chief Shepherd, no matter how difficult the way. We pray that You would bless the sheep in Your flocks as faithful shepherds lead them to green pastures. May they be fed and satisfied. We pray that You would lead Your shepherds to protect them, find them when they're lost and lead them through the difficult trials.
Lord, I thank You for bestowing upon me such a honor and great privilege. One of which I am so unworthy. Cause me to always be faithful shepherd, protecting and caring for Your sheep. Help me to be faithful to always follow Christ, who leads us out and will one day soon, lead us home.
In Christ's name we pray
Today's Message:  Leading The Flock With Humility

Open with me your Bibles to the fifth chapter of first Peter, in our ongoing study of this wonderful epistle, we embark on a new chapter. The main theme is of this marvelous section of Scripture, is found in the first word of verse 2. And, that is the word "shepherd." That is the exhortation.
I would like to invite you to follow along with me as I read to set the text in our minds, while we prepare out hearts for a message from the Spirit of God. Listen for our Lord's voice. I Peter 5:1-5.

"Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
When you first read these verses in I Peter 5, who would have thought that it would have been our beloved Peter would pen these words to the leaders of the churches? He was often stubborn and strong willed, arguing with the other disciples, he even argued with and rebuked our Lord when He spoke of His coming suffering and death. The night that Jesus was arrested, he even denied Him three times. Yet, what it is not difficult to see, is that Peter is indeed, a changed man, whose view of leadership has been radically transformed.
When Jesus saw  the spiritually lost crowds, were completely lost, they were disoriented, confused, hungry and thirsty. There was no one to lead back, no one to lead them to water, to lead them to food, or to lead them home. 
As we have been studying throughout Peter's epistle, the churches to whom Peter was writing. were facing intense persecution. Or as Peter called it chapter 4 verse 12, a "fiery ordeal." We also learned, that these trials, test the cohesiveness and strength of the church. Since strong pastoral leadership is essential to the health of the church, Peter is focusing primarily on the elders. However, he does not neglect to give a word to the rest of the flock. The whole of the message, can be summarized in what is arguably the chief Christian virtue, and that is humility.
I believe that the leaders of the church must place great importance and close attention to this passage. Furthermore, I believe those of you who are being shepherded must be pay close attention to this passage as well. Not only because we as pastors are responsible to fulfill our duty, but you are responsible to hold us accountable to fulfill our duty as part of your responsibility. So what is the function of the pastor?  
When the prophet Isaiah was describing the lost, he said in Isaiah 53:6, "All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him." 
A pastor guards the flock. In Acts 20:28-31, the Apostle Paul says "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears."

In verses 1 and 2, Peter tells us what the responsibility is of the shepherd. "Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness."
It is very important that the elders among you be exhorted. Peter is not giving some complicated list of duties, he's very specific, he's saying one very simple thing. We are to shepherd. The word "exhort" is the Greek word "parakalō,"means to call to, to encourage.  He is asking us to shepherd.
By the way, I know we've discussed this at length in some of our other studies before, however, in case some of you may have missed those, elders are the pastors and overseers of the church. They are the spiritual leaders, the teachers of the Word of God in the church.  The word "elder" emphasizes their spiritual responsibility in terms of maturity and the uniqueness of their office. A pastor, then, is a biblically qualified leader of the church who teaches the Word of God.
Notice that Peter uses elder in the plural sense, I believe that it is very helpful for us to note that the plurality is important.  For one, churches were led by a plurality of godly men. Where you have a plurality of elders you have some very important protections, it preserves the church against error.
In I Corinthians 14:29, Paul says "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment." What Paul is saying is don't let anybody act independently of the group. In other words, no man has the freedom to teach, to lead, independent of a plurality of godly men with whom he works alongside of.
The second protection you have where there is a plurality of godly men, is it preserves the church against imbalance. Each leader can bear their own insights on the truth. There is also, by God's design, a plurality of capabilities, gifts and administrations. What typically happens when the church is dominated by one man, is the church very easily can get out of balance, because God does not give all gifts to one individual.
Now, while it is very important that you honor those who are over you in the Lord and respect them for their works' sake, it is also very important that one man not be elevated above what is proper. Therefore, a plurality of godly men in a church preserves against the undue elevation of one particular man. Scripture teaches us that knowledge puffs up, few things poison the church, like an arrogant, prideful pastor. Arrogance and pride in a leader endangers the whole church, and the longer a man has faithfully walked with God, the less likely the remaining pride in him is growing rather than shrinking.
Paul says in Titus 1:7-9, "For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict." 

A plurality of godly men, also preserves the church against an evil dominance. Believe it or not, the church is good place for a megalomaniac to elevate himself up to a place of prominence, where he can act independently in very ungodly and wicked ways. The obvious issue here is, that he will dominate, even though he's an evil man. 

Another reason that the plurality of godly men is important, is in a church dominated by one man, there's nobody else who can step in in the case of death or illness, because there's no one else in leadership at that level. That's why I believe that God in his infinite wisdom, designed the church to function with a plurality of leaders. That's why every time it is used in reference to a local church it is always plural, except when there is reference to an individual elder. Otherwise, it's always plural.

It is a very serious task to shepherd, one I believe must not be taken lightly. Shepherding the flock can be very challenging emotionally, because pastors are more routinely exposed to the depths of human depravity. In fact, it has been my experience, that it’s only a matter of time until pastoral ministry proves more emotionally challenging than one might anticipate. Multiply that across a congregation, and the effects can be devastating, enough to damage the healthy growth and development of the flock. The young and emotionally weak are particularly susceptible, as well as giving a convenient foothold for Satan’s efforts.

As pastors, we have an accountability to God. This is what Peter is talking about, it's a very serious task. The author of Hebrews 13:17-19 says "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. And I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you the sooner.

What he's saying here, is if you cannot manage to take care of money, how are you ever going to be able to take proper care the souls of men. If God has found you faithful in giving you the souls of men, there is an infinitely greater accountability. That's why James says in James 3:1, "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment."  

"For to whom much is given, much shall be required." True riches are the souls of men. When you are given the responsibility of oversight and to teach, there is an enormous accountability. 

The primary responsibility of shepherding is to feed and protect the flock. I'm sure you will remember in John 21, when Jesus said to Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He *said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He *said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He *said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He *said to him, "Shepherd My sheep." He *said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus *said to him, "Tend My sheep."

As a footnote, I'd like to point out, that Jesus uses the word "boskō," which actually means to feed, specifically to feed. The New American Standard tends to translate it as tend, but it's actually feed. Two out of three times He says "feed." So, I believe that we can kind of get a feel for how important the flock is to Christ, with this a little bit. The word "shepherd," is the word "poimainō," which encompasses all the rules and tasks associated with shepherding. And, I'm sure you are aware, that one of the roles of the shepherd is to lead the sheep to nourishing, green pastures. From a spiritual standpoint, the shepherd is not to seek to please the flock, but to seek to feed them.  He is to bring the sheep to the place where they feed on divine truth.

The command to shepherd here in I Peter chapter 5, carries a sense of urgency with it. The form of the Greek verb indicates that there's an urgency associated with shepherding. It is as I've said before, the most serious task in the world. The eternal souls of men are at stake. Allow me to point out, it is never defined as an administrative duty.  It is a spiritual duty that primarily means giving attention to the needs of the people. 

James says in chapter 5 verse 14, "Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord."
Now if you go back to the Old Testament, in Jeremiah chapter 23, verse 1 "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the Lord." By the way, the  word"Woe," means damnation, cursing, and judgment. Look at verse 2, "Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: "You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds," declares the Lord."
Then, in verses 3 and 4, "Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.
Peter says to all of us both then and now, shepherd the flock of God! Verse 3, "Nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.Every elder has a portion of God's flock allotted to his charge. Jesus knew his sheep. In fact, He said that He called His own sheep by name and they followed Him because they knew His voice.  
The task of shepherding, then, involves getting to know people by name, and letting them get to know you as well. If you are an elder, pastor, shepherd and you can't even identify your flock, you're in real trouble. It is impossible to give adequate pastoral care to a person whom you do not know. I realize this is much more difficult in larger congregations, which is another reason why there should always be a plurality of pastors. As pastors, we are called to feed, lead and care for a portion of the flock that God has allotted to us.  
I have often seen pastors become distracted being asked to get involved with many of the programs and activities that take place in the church, however, only one is mandated by God and that is to shepherd the flock. I'll tell you this, one of the ploys of Satan is to get a pastor doing everything but shepherding the flock. My responsibility as your pastor is to teach, protect, warn, love, and guide. I have been called to shepherd the flock of God among us, allotted to our charge, by exercising oversight. Not micro manage programs. Before we move on, allow to go back to verse 2 for moment, on how not to shepherd, "Exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God
One of the perils in shepherding is to begin to do it because you have to do it, not because you want to do it. Because you lead them from the front, they follow, so don't ever do it under compulsion. What Peter is saying is to find the divine compulsion to preach sufficient and not have to be forced to do our work. If you need to be constantly pushed, then you're not motivated by the call on your life and the urgency of the task. If that's the case, then you've got a very serious problem. Allow me to add, you should not be compelled by pride or by money. You know, there are a great many a lazy pastors, those  who constantly look busy and in reality, they aren't doing a thing.
Nobody needed to compel the Apostle Paul, in Romans 1:15 he says "So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome." Paul was highly motivated, and that's as it should be. 
In verse, Peter reminds us why we serve this way. "And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory." In that day, crowns were the mark of victorious achievement. All these temporal crowns rust and fade, but this crown is the eternal glory that never fades. The word used here is the Greek word "amarántinos." which is borrowed from the name of a flower, it's been said that the amaranth flower never faded. The implication here is that we would want that reward to be all that it ought to be for the glory of our Savior. This is very important to Peter. Peter was looking for the Second Coming, and so should we be.
In verse 5, we have a a series of imperatives. "You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Peter fires them off one right after the other. They don't have as much to do with how we act as how we think. Notice he turns from the shepherds to the sheep. Also notice that   he uses the word "likewise." Throughout this epistle is Peter's use of the word likewise which is a transition to a new group. He did the same thing back in chapter 2, when he was talking about various groups.
Here in verse 5, he's moving from the group he's just been talking about to a new group. He's just motivated the pastors, now exhorting the sheep to proper spiritual attitudes. He's talking about an attitude of submission. The topic of submission is not new, in fact, it's relatively familiar term in his epistle. Peter says that we are to be subject to elders. "You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders." 
I have been asked why he identifies younger men here, young men tend to be very aggressive. They are quite often enamored with their own ideas, they tend to be head strong, they tend to not want to listen to the ideas of the older generation. In short, they think they know it all. Women were already subject to their own husbands, so that would not pose an issue. Older men are typically more spiritually mature, they would be the saintly, again it would not pose an issue. So, really the only people within the congregation who would become an issue to the submission aspect would obviously be the younger men. 
Allow me to again remind you, that all believers are to be subject to those who are over them in the Lord. Every believer needs to get in line under the authority of the elders and the shepherds, the pastors. It's a call for respect, it's a call for honor to those in spiritual leadership. It's a call to give deference. I will tell you, I have seen through the eyes of friendships with other pastors, there is nothing is more disheartening, more distressing than a congregation who does not have respect for those who are in spiritual authority over them. However, I must also say, there is nothing is more discouraging to a congregation of faithful worshippers than irresponsible, poor spiritual leadership.
I have seen in my lifetime many spiritually gifted people who were given great gifts and by the Spirit of God, who because of their pride, never learned to submit to someone else's leadership and authority. It is saddening to me, that they never achieved the measure of spiritual maturity and usefulness God had intended for them. I do not believe that Peter could be any more clearer, "Be subject to your elders."
Before anyone draws a wrong conclusion, I'm just teaching you the Bible, I do not have any hidden motive or secret agenda by telling you this. Read it for yourselves. And, if that is not the attitude in the hearts of the people of God, it can destroy churches. It has in the past and continues to do so today. 
Biblically speaking, the people of God must learn to submit themselves to those in spiritual leadership over them.
This is certainly not because we know everything there is to know and it's not because we're perfect, I can assure you we are not. We are as human and as flawed as anyone else.  So, it is not a question of perfection on our part. It is a matter of spirituality that you are to submit.
In I Thessalonians 5:12-13, in writing to the very godly people in Thessalonica, Paul says "But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another."
I believe this is very sound advice. You need to appreciate the people who diligently labor among you, who do spiritual ministry in your midst, who have charge over you and who give you spiritual  instruction. Yo are to highly esteem them and respect them, they teach you and care very deeply for you. They work hard to lead you.  If you do not have an attitude of submission to those in authority over you in the Lord, you lack the basic foundation for spiritual maturity. And, your spiritual growth will be hindered. Spiritual maturity always calls for an attitude of submission. Not only do you make the task of ministry difficult, the servant of the Lord sorrowful and grieving, but you will fail to have a cornerstone in your own spiritual life.
Peter concludes verse 5 by saying "clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." This attitude goes right along with the first one. I believe that for those who struggle with the attitude of submission,  is because it attacks their self-promoting pride, and the attitude of humility, attacks their self-love. 
Beloved, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage every true believer, every faithful follower of Christ, to clothe yourself in the one-size-fits-all garment of humble service. It is imperative that you the attitude that you are not too good to serve the Lord, in any capacity that you are called, and you are not too great to stoop down to help someone in need.
Tragically, in our society today, humble people get trampled on, they are considered weak and cowardly, they get mocked. Humility has no virtue in our world. In this day of the macho man, they're seen as wimps. When I think of humility, I am reminded of our Lord in John 13, when the Jesus Christ, Son of God, put on that garment that fits all, and tied the knot in the slave's apron and bent down and washed the disciples dirty feet. I imagine that Peter probably remembered that.
In Matthew 20:28, Jesus said "Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." 
This a powerful example of true humility!
In Closing...
A man should not be in leadership out of obligation or duty, but out of the delight of serving the Lord. I encourage those of you who are in a position of spiritual leadership, it is both a privilege and a tremendous responsibility. If you are in the ministry seeking status, power, or money, you are abusing a sacred trust. And God will hold you accountable for the direction of those under your care.
Your motivation must never be to receive the accolades or praises of men, but only a true desire to hear our Lord say on that great day, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
For those of you in the congregation, submission does not mean merely a quite acceptance of decisions. There is certainly a time and a place for expressing disagreement and voicing legitimate concerns. However, allow me to encourage you to be responsible in your appeal to them, based upon the Word of God and not your personal desires and demands. 
And remember, true humility is being aware of our own insufficiency, but trusting in our Lord Jesus Christ’s all-sufficiency. As believers, we must keep our focus on our inadequacy and on God’s adequacy.
May it be so..
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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