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Read Introduction to 1 Peter
 

“Nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”

 

but being examples to the flock

An “example” was a visible impression of a stroke. Therefore, it is a mark (i.e., an impression left by a blow). The New Testament uses this word for the mark of the nails in Jesus’ hands after the crucifixion,

“The other disciples therefore said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe'” (John 20:25).

An “example” then is a copy, image, pattern, the effect of a blow, the print or impress of a seal general form or character, the type or model of a thing.

In the context of a relationship between leaders and followers, Christian leaders are to serve as models for people to follow. They are to be modeled or patterned, much like an “example.” Christian leaders follow, as well. They follow their Archetype, for they are of the same kind, class, and type as He is. Jesus is the model and pattern for Christian leaders.

“But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered” (Romans 6:17).

“Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing Moses to make it according to the pattern that he had seen” (Acts 7:44).

“Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted” (1 Corinthians 10:6).

“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern” (Philippians 3:17).

“So that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe” (1 Thessalonians 1:7).

“Not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us” (2 Thessalonians 3:9).

“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

Christian leaders are not to drive God’s people, but to lead them by their examples of mature Christian character.

PRINCIPLE:

A pastor motivates from within, and by his example.

APPLICATION:

As no one can drive a pastor into leadership by coercion from without, no one can manipulate the congregation by external pressure either.

The most significant power of a leader is his integrity and capacity. The reason he cannot lord it over his people is simply that he is not Lord. Even the Lord did not coerce his people. He motivated them through integrity and love. Leaders are most effective when they demonstrate how to face trial and testing. Complainers shut their mouths to such testimony. This is a big order for a pastor.

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

“Imitate” is the Greek word mimic. “Be mimics of me.” We can often learn more from what we see than by what we hear. We have a wonderful Lord, and he proves himself over and again.

“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

“In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you” (Titus 2:7-8).

A biblical leader is not a boss who commands, dominates, manipulates, and coerces his people. He does not operate by leverage but by service,

“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 [same Greek word as in our passage], 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 ‘” (Mark 10:42-43).

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