Prompt 1-Pastoral Qualification-Willingness
1 Peter 5:2
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;
Isn’t it funny that we think about how we chose this path? As if we are in control…and God follows it up by our show of willingness. As if it wasn’t God’s plan to begin with. I laugh at that and I’m guilty. Before we were even born, God had this plan for us to do the things we are doing now. He’s used every situation we’ve been through to bring us to this place. Yes, we could be unwilling and turn away but our willingness seems like our own idea. True willingness to serve in God’s plan to me means serving to please God and not serving for what I can get out of it. Sure, we may get some satisfaction out of it eventually but most times its putting the work in, loving people, caring for them with no visible reward. I see fruit blooming now that I have cared for and God has pruned for 10 years. Only now, is it starting to bud. There have been weeds, mites and other little buggers trying to kill this fruit. Exhausting and it would be a whole lot less work to show up on Sundays, sit in the pew for an hour and go about my business the entire rest of the week, caring for only me. Yet, God has placed another plan in my path to get dirty, love when people are unlovable, stand next to them as they make bad decisions, comfort them through the pain of it, all the while reminding them that God is waiting for their return and He still loves them through the mess. This, my friends, is not for sissies. In these situation, I usually have a conversation with God…”I know that you must have something great in store and great plans to use this person for your purpose, because the Devil is fighting hard to keep them from you…I will not turn away, even when others do, no matter how ugly it gets, not matter how much it hurts, I will hold onto them for dear life, because life is just what is at stake. Give me the strength to do it. I am willing to be your servant and I will stand in the gap for your child”
70 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens;71 from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. 72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
Prompt 2 -Qualifications for leaders in the church:
Care for people as children of God. Serve them humbly and eagerly, it should not be a burden. If you have a spouse, show them love and respect, people are watching your example on how to be in a relationship. In the midst of difficulty, keep calm and don’t respond in anger. Be accessible to everyone, don’t close yourself off to those who are a bit more work. Hospitality is important, break bread with even your enemies, much can be resolved around a table. Show compassion and gentleness to those who are far from God and need love, even when they are unlovable. Keep your emotions in check, even though it’s difficult, it’s not about you, put yourself aside and serve others, God will deal with the rest. You’re not a leader to get rich, you’re a leader to serve God and His people. Treat your family with respect and expect it back from them. Experience will come with time, keep at it. Appoint other leaders with the same expectations as you have of yourself. They cannot be pushy or bullies or in it with an agenda to get their own way, Leaders you appoint should also be respected, welcoming, and with good biblical knowledge to have authority in speaking truth with love. Spend time daily in bible study and prayer.