Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Are We Good Role Models?

I shared this at our Navigator Training Camp on Friday night, July 17, 2009

Our Elders have been taking an assessment of ourselves lately. As we examine the 7Gs (Grace, Glorify, Growth, Group, Gifts, Good Stewardship, Go), we have been asking ourselves, “are we good role models or examples of the 7Gs for people to follow?” That may initially sound arrogant to you, but as we look into the Scriptures, we are reminded over and over that as leaders of the church we are commanded to be role models and examples and to challenge and encourage those in our care to follow us, to imitate us.

In 1 Peter 5:1-4 where Peter is writing this letter to followers of Jesus, God Word says:
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: 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; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

So, Peter gives a command to the elders to be examples to the flock, to “those in your charge”, to those to whom God has given you responsibility.

The author of Hebrews (who many believe is Paul), writes in 13:17, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account.”

This is a tall order, a serious command, a significant responsibility. The writer is saying that we are to do as the leader says and as the leader does. We are to obey and submit to them. So, the leaders must be examples for those in his charge to follow. And then the writer delivers the knockout blow. He says the reason we are to follow, obey and submit is because those leaders are watching over our soul. They are responsible for our spiritual well being. They are going to be held accountable by God for what they did, how they led, what kind of role model they were, and what kind of example those in their charge followed.

Those leaders are US! The Scriptures give the responsibility to the Elders. The Elders of Clear Creek Community Church are entrusting some of that responsibility to US – Small Group Navigators. As Navigators, we are responsible for the spiritual development of each person in our small group. Through God’s grace, we should live our lives in a way that we beg those in our groups to follow us, to imitate us, because we must be confident enough in our Christian walk that we unashamedly say to our group members “watch me and do as I do.” We must be so dependent upon Christ in all areas of our life that we say “watch me and do as I do.” It doesn’t mean we are perfect. Paul wasn’t perfect. Peter wasn’t perfect. But, we must allow the gospel to so shape our lives that we say “watch me and do as I do.”

Father, please help me to be an example for those in my care to follow. Holy Spirit live through me in such a way that others follow me as I follow Jesus. Amen.


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