2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
1 Peter 5:3-4
Peter’s admonition to pastors touches on two dangerous pitfalls of the ministry: power and money.
It’s easy to get lured into the trappings of money while in the ministry. After all, many around you have the ability to earn and make more than you. With that money comes a degree of influence and prestige. But ministers on a fixed income have to be content with what they have and where they are in life. The reality, though, is all people need to be content with who and what they are. The pursuit of money has led many astray both in and outside the ministry.
Power, on the other hand, is that intangible characteristic that is intoxicating and unsatisfying. You want and need more, not matter what level of influence you have. That’s also true with church leadership within the church and on to the denomination. Power, too, is a trap but much more insidious.
Instead, Peter exhorts you to be an example for the people He has placed under you. It is a worthwhile goal for you to want others to say: “I want what he has” in regards to your spiritual maturity and walk with God.
Whether it’s with a congregation of 20 or one with 2000, be examples for your congregations to emulate.