Studies of growing churches almost always highlight the importance of effective leadership. This leadership takes its vision from God and His Word and provides opportunity for everybody in the congregation to exercise their own spiritual gifts in pursuit of the gospel commission.
But church leadership is highly challenging. Volunteers, who often give of their time even though they already are busy, largely run churches. Members can “vote with their feet” by ceasing to attend if something happens that they cannot support. Furthermore, an effective Christian leader also must be deeply spiritual. And we shouldn’t forget that Peter is writing to churches that are experiencing persecution. The church leader is particularly vulnerable at such times. Who, then, is equipped for this task?
In 1 Peter 5:1-10, Peter addresses the matter of Christian leadership on the local church level. In these verses, he writes about some of the crucial characteristics needed not just in the local leaders, but in members, as well. His words are as relevant for us today as they were then.