Leader Devotional 8: Be An Example
Peter's few verses directed to leaders tell us much about his leadership philosophy that he
obviously learned from Jesus:
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them . . . not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock (1 Peter 5:2, 3). The temptation to use leadership power to dominate others as overlords is powerful yet subtle. Some have become benevolent dictators for the good of others, but Peter's words are clear not to be fooled into thinking misuse of leadership position is acceptable for any reason. No one is immune from power's effects but Jesus provided a perfect example of selfless leadership that used power and position for the benefit of others.
Therefore, Jesus is our model for leadership. We are to emulate Him as a model for others to learn from and follow. Peter's comrade Paul wrote, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1). What's more, for someone to follow our leadership indicates we are close enough to the people that they can observe and even question our behavior they are to imitate.
Are you close to the people who follow you, close enough that they can learn from your example? Or has leadership power gone to your head, requiring others to keep their distance and address you by your title, affording you special honor simply because you are the leader? One way to tell if you're intoxicated with leadership power is to pay attention to what angers you. If people dishonor you and don't recognize your position and that makes you angry, then ask God to show you if you are walking according to 1 Peter 5 or to the standards of another leadership mentality.