Richvale Church
Sunday, April 25
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  • Good Morning, we are in our sermon series in 1 Peter entitled, “Standing Firm,”.
    Last Sunday we looked at how to approach the challenges and pressures of life.. Peter is writing to the early church who are part of the diaspora who have been scattered throughout Asia minor and are facing persecution… they are disorientated… and they are uncertain about the days that lie ahead...
    Peter’s purpose for writing this letter is to encourage the church to follow the example and the pattern that Jesus set out for us and… to walk in His steps…
    In Chapter 4 He tells the church to arm themselves with the same thinking that is in Christ… who himself suffered in the flesh, who endured the cross… Arming is military imagery… it is weaponizing — Equipping — being in a state of preparedness… being ready... Being prepared means having the right mindset and attitude to challenges that we face…
    When you armed, you are anticipating battle… In 1 Peter 4he say to the church when you face the fiery trial or ordeal (persecution) — to not be taken by surprise as something strange is happening… But rather Rejoice… rejoice because you are walking in the way of the savior... the pattern.. found in Jesus…who went from the Cross to the throne..— Peter would say to us today..
    If our lives are going well right now we will can praise God... we can be thankful for the seasons of blessings... but at the same time Peter say if your are facing trials and testing’s.. rejoice not because of the trial… but because we remembering that our lives are in Christ ...As Christians our identify is in the cross of Christ -- we identify With his sufferings through our baptism....and resurrection.. and we can rejoice because we know the road to cross leads — leads to resurrection and resurrection to glorification..
    Frank gave me this wonderful quote by Thomas Paine an American author and publisher in the late 1700’s… He said
    “The harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph”
    Paine’s life was full of pain conflicts and trouble… He lost his wife shortly after they married… He got fired from a number of jobs… but through all the darkness he persevered…and pursued his literary gifts.. It was Thomas Paine’s work entitled “Common Sense” that ignited the American Revolution and is said to be the foundation of the US constitution--
    Peter would agree with Paine that “The harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph”
    Peter wanted the church to be prepared… for conflict… but he also wanted them to be strengthen and to Stand Firm...
    Peter tells us that The way that churches become Stronger is through building strong leaders… What is leadership?
    Leadership is a huge subject… leadership can be summoned up in one word and that is INFLUENCE…
    One of the discussions that always comes up in leadership... is whether leaders are born or made?... and the answer it is a little bit of both... there are some people that have been born with a natural gift to lead, and there are other who have to learn how to become leaders…but regardless everyone can learn to be better leaders...
    Leadership is progress, not perfection. - Steven Furtick
    When you look at Peter he had some natural leadership gifts…but most of his leadership was learned through blunders and failure…
    When you read 1 Peter —you know that here is guy who is not just talking about leadership theory. But he is speaking from his painful experiences and lessons..
    T/S One of the questions of the minds of these Christians… how are we going to make it… Peter addresses the topic of leadership.. He teaches us what good leaders look like.. Firstly,

    1. Good Leaders lead from the place of Humility.

    When I was in Seminary the focus of my degree was Christian leadership.. and one of the required reading was a book called Good To Great by Jim Collins…Good To Great examines what it takes for ordinary companies to become great and outperform their competitors by analyzing 28 companies over 30 years, who managed to make the transition or fell prey to their bad habits.
    Collins talks about 5 levels of leadership...

    Level 1: Highly Capable Individual

    Level 2: Contributing Team Member

    Level 3: Competent Manager

    Level 4: Effective Leader.

    Level 5: Great Leader

    What Collins learned from his case studies...
    is that the best CEO’S—what he calls “Level 5” leaders—combine extreme passion for a cause with deep humility and a sense of teamwork.
    Level 5 leaders understand the importance of putting people first and strategy second… and they led with Humility.
    Peter tells us that one of the enduring qualities of a leader is that of humility..
    1 Peter 5:1ESV
    1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed.
    Peter is addressing the important subject of Spiritual leadership... He speaking to the Elders....
    He speaks to the leaders...
    The church at this time was broken up in to are smaller congregations or groups of people who were being led by elders ..
    Peter uses the word “Elder”.. which mean... one who is older…In both Judaism and Christianity Old age was generally held in honor… the idea is that as one gets older in years you become wiser… but we know that is not always the case…
    Eldership was not a new idea it could traced back to the days when they were wandering in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. When the burden of leadership was too great for Moses to bear alone....his father-in-law… Jethro…suggested that Moses appointed seventy elders to help share the load in a practical sense.
    Elders became a permanent part of Jewish life. We see references to them throughout the Old and New Testament.
    Every village and city had its elders; they met at the city gate and ruled among the people (Deuteronomy 25:7). Elders were key leaders in the synagogues. They formed a large section of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Israel during the time of Christ.
    Peter is addressing the Elders — those who are pastoring these small congregations.
    He addresses them as fellow Elders… what we find is the
    a. Humility of Peter..
    • Peter is one of the most influential leaders of the first century church.. he was part of Christ's inner circle.. It was Peter James and John ..
    • He was one of the witnesses of the transfiguration of Jesus...
    • Peter was the disciple who Jesus commissioned to be builder of the Church.
    • After Peter confessed Jesus as LORD… Jesus turns to Peter and says --- Upon this Rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it… I give to you the keys of the kingdom what ever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and what ever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven...
    • When Peter preached his first sermon on the day of pentecost.. 3000 people were added to the church in one day... Peter was the Pastor of the flag church…the Church in Jerusalem...
    When Peter addresses the churches -- He doesn't use his position or his title as an “apostle” but rather he calls himself a “fellow Elder.”
    Where does this humility come from? Peters humility comes from this deep awareness of his own fragility…
    look at text again..
    1 Peter 5:1ESV
    1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:
    … Peter knew to well his own short comings... remember when Jesus told his Peter that Satan desired to sift him as wheat… … Peter responded immediately with.. “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” --- Peter thought he was ready but when the time came he failed… on third time we told he wept bitterly.
    Peter’s Humility comes from his restoration… When Jesus appeared after his resurrection —they had gone back to their nets… Jesus pulls Peter aside asks him three times do you love…then Jesus charged Peter to - feed my lambs ---tend of my sheep… feed my sheep… Jesus calls Peter in to the pastoral roll of shepherding.
    It was a powerful and humble moment.
    feed and take care of his sheep...In some ways Peter is multiplying himself in other leaders.
    . He has learned what it means to be a shepherd... it didn't happen over night.
    Pastor and theologian Kevin DeYoung says..
    Humility is going throughout life with the profound realization that God has given us a lot more than we deserve.
    T/S One of the questions of the minds of these Christians… how are we going to make it… Peter addresses the topic of leadership.. He teaches us what good leaders look like.. Firstly,
    1. Good Leaders lead from the place of Humility.

    2. Good leaders lead with the Heart of a Shepherd

    "Bill" Parcell’s, also known as "the Big Tuna", is a former American football coach who was a head coach in the NFL for 19 seasons.. He often used to say to his assistants and plays.."Don't tell me about the labor pains. Just show me the baby." He doesn't want people to come to him whining about how difficult his job is; he just wants to see results. He was interested in the bottom line…Here is the thing… God has not called us to produce results.. He has called us to take care of people..
    Sometimes you've got to be willing to hear about the labor pains. Sometimes you've got to be willing to let those you lead pour out their heart to you. Sometimes they hurt. Sometimes they get discouraged. Sometimes they struggle with doubt.
    Good leaders lead with their hearts..Peter as a pastor - knew all the challengers and trappings that comes with leading people… He speaks with understanding when it comes to the responsibilities of spiritual leaders..
    .
    1 Peter 5:2–4 ESV
    2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
    PETER gives us the image of a Shepherd to how a leader behaves... The image is that of an under-shepherd.. those who take care of the flock of God...…
    How many times have we taken ownership of a ministry.... As pastors we can talk about our church… or in a ministry we might say my small group… or my bible study… The truth is that we are stewards of what God has given us --- Peter says be faithful shepherds who not only protected the flock, but also feed the flock....
    Shepherd always went before the flock and searched out the land so that there would be nothing there to harm his flock.
    Peter tells us that Shepherds who lead with their heart

    a. Shepherds Provide Oversight

    2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;
    Peter encourages the elders to pick up the mantle of responsibility… It is one thing to be given authority… it is another thing to use it..
    PETER wants them to exercise oversight... to have the confidence to fulfill the ministry that God has called them too.. Peter didn't say go and build a some huge great movement.... He says take care of what God has placed in front of you…
    Start with your family… your spouse, your children, your friends… your church family…
    … who are those people in your path that need caring for… needing support… words of encouragement… You don’t have to go far to find them...
    Provide leadership to those whom God has put in your sphere of influence..

    b. Shepherds are Willing servants

    Have you ever been asked to be part of something that your heart really wasn’t in it… We had members in our church that worked with the Red Cross ---and wanted me to serve on the board and I agreed to serve on the committee.. the red cross is a great organization but my heart really wasn’t in it.. I attended the meetings..but I found my self mumbling and grumbling all the way, How did I ever let myself get talked into this?
    Peter says when it comes to ministry..there needs to done from a willing heart.
    Serving .. not by compulsion but willingness.. WE should never serve because we have to.. Some times we get desperate in church… we need somebody… we need volunteers… but we ask people… but they don’t have a heart for the ministry…
    When you have a willing heart… it makes all the difference..
    I am always amazed when we would go to Bayside conferences how happy the parking attendance were... they are always smiling and happy to see people arrive on their campus... they set the atmosphere… You know that they are not there under compulsion... they are there because they want to be... they come in with joyful hearts… they are prayed up... ... they come in with shepherd attitude... they are willing because they are doing the ministry to the Lord...
    Shepherds are willing..

    C. Shepherds are Enthusiastic.

    Peter says there are wrong motivations for ministry..
    1 Peter 5:2 ESV
    2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;
    Peter tells us that the wrong motives would be feeling obligated.. another would be for shameful gain…using ministry as a means to earn money instead of following after a calling..
    Peter says not only be willing to serve but also be eager to serve others…
    Shepherds are enthusiastic.
    I never forget our graduation speaker -- charging us Seminary graduates to pursue our calling in ministry and he ended his address with n... now --- he said... sick Him... go for it...
    We should minister eagerly; not merely for what we can get out of it, but rather for what we can put into it. Investing in the lives of others is one of the highest callings and greatest privileges which God entrusts to any person. To serve “eagerly” is próthumos, which means to serve with a forward spirit—to serve with readily, and willingly..
    Peter says in verse 3
    1 Peter 5:3ESV
    3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
    Shepherding with our hearts is not lording it over others… pushing our weight around… a top down kind of leadership…
    When I was in high school and there were a group of seniors who were called prefects… they had authority over us… they could ask us to do things and even give us detention… they made our lives miserable… I remember them giving us a speech when we arrived — they got us together and said... … when we ask you to something you do it.. you don’t ask questions.. if we ask you jump ---you say how high… they wanted absolute authority…thats how they led..
    There are leaders like that are like that.. it is my way or the highway...
    Peters charges the elders to be spiritual leaders and examples to the Flock...
    When I think about the influences in my life... They were those who led not only by their words but by example of their lives...
    both Peter and Paul stressed most of the qualifications for church leadership relate to issues of character and lifestyle.. Paul the apostle said to the church in Philippi to imitate him.
    Philippians 3:17 ESV
    17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
    OUR PROCLAIMATION is to be done not just with our lips but with our lives.
    One of my favorite all time quotes is by St. Francis of Assis… Preach the Gospel and if necessary use words..
    We pay closely to the examples that we have... Examples inspire us..
    We need examples and we need to be examples to others... that is part of stewarding "exercising oversight.
    What does it look like...
    (1) Being shepherds to the flock of God
    (2) to serving willingly;
    (3) to serving eagerly;
    Peter tells us that when we serve with the right heart and attitude there will be rewards.
    1 Peter 5:4 ESV
    4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
    When we read this verse we need to remember many of the pastors and leaders were facing harsh persecution… Peter himself is going to be a Martyr.. He reminds them to focus on day the Chief Shepherd will return... there will be a time where he will give out rewards… The image here is that of rewards in the Greek games... Those who have been faithful in serving will be rewarded. And unlike the greek games where they gave out wreaths that would wither and die… the Chief Shepherd will give an unfading crown of glory...
    What a great honor to be considered an undershepherd...
    T/S One of the questions of the minds of these Christians… how are we going to make it… Peter addresses the topic of leadership.. He teaches us what good leaders look like.. Firstly,
    1. Good Leaders lead from the place of Humility.
    2. Good leaders lead with the Heart of a Shepherd

    3. Good leaders lead by Building a culture of Trust.

    1 Peter 5:5 ESV
    5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
    Peter addresses the young… this could mean young in age or young in maturity…Every church needs to be thinking about the next generation… Who are we going to be passing the baton too.. One of the joys and rewards of getting older is wisdom…

    a. Good leaders have a vision for the next generation

    Peter turns from the shepherd/elders to the sheep... Peter point is that good leaders deserve good followers... those who are led have a responsibility to lead well and the sheep have a responsibility to come under the care of the godly leadership..
    We don’t like the word submit today… but the word means to come under…
    There is responsibility of Shepherds to wilingly give themselves for the flock.. and then the responsibility for those who are ministered too… to place themselves under the leadership of the Elders…

    b. Good leaders build a culture of Serving one another

    Every team requires both enthusiastic players with skills... but in order to be successful their needs to be leaders who... coach and manage the team... This task includes assigning roles, having a vision and a strategy for the game. And to encourage everyone on the team.
    I was thinking how do we submit to one another… It is by exalting Christ..
    The word hupotássō --- comes from the root...
    Hupsoō which means to liftsomething to a higher location. John uses this word when hes says… “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, Christ was lifted up on the cross”(Jn 3:14). This concept of lifting up is figuratively extended to mean to exaltor honor (raising something to a position of higher status).
    c. Good leaders develop a culture of grace..
    Peter says…that we are to submit to one another because “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
    Peter is applying the principle of humility for all Christians. He quotes Proverbs 3:34, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). Submission has been a major theme in Peter’s letter—submission to whatever the world throws at us, to whatever the Lord allows to happen to us. It takes humility to submit… When we submit we are laying aside our Pride and we are offering grace to one another..
    Conclusion -
    I was reading an article in Christianity Today about an interview with Billy Graham .. we know Billy Graham for his Crusades, but he is also responsible founding Gordon Conwell seminary ,Samaritan's Purse and also Christianity today.
    A while back a book was written called The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham — It was written as a tribute to celebrate 50 years of Christianity today magazine… In one of the chapters called, Birthing dreams… it was a case study of the founding of Christianity Today..
    When Billy Graham founded CT - he woke up one 2 am I. morning with an idea to publish an evangelical magazine.. that same year they sent out the first publication of 200 000 copies… Billy Graham was an extraordinary Visionary and leader..
    Billy Graham ministry was extraordinary --- he was visionary… leader… anointed man of God…but his when it came to his personal life it was quite ordinary. He lived in an average sized house in the mountains in North Carolina. The one quality that everyone recognized in Him was his Humility…that of level 5 leader… the article ended — with the thing that Billy Graham was thinking about in retirement was whether Christianity today was making an impact....Billy said...
    “I think about that a lot,” he said. “Are we really being used to change people?”
    What a great question? Leadership is influence...
      • 1 Peter 5:1ESV

      • 1 Peter 5:2–4ESV

      • 1 Peter 5:3ESV

      • Philippians 3:17ESV

      • 1 Peter 5:4ESV

      • 1 Peter 5:5ESV

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