Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Diotrephes: The Dangerous Lure of Power and Praise - Wragg, JOFMM Fall 2004

Robert G. Lee was a shepherd whose ministry was marked by a
love for his people and a determined defense for the word of
God.2 It had been a simple but profound approach to his service
in the church, and the result was a lifetime of usefulness and blessing.
But how did such effectiveness come from such simplicity?
The real secret lies in the lens through which Lee viewed his calling.
Notice that his perspective was focused around two biblical
commands3 which every church is called to obey. When a shepherd
sees his labor as the highest act of submission to Christ he is
most “useful to the Master, prepared for every good work” (2
Timothy 2:21). Unfortunately, such tireless dedication is becoming
the exception rather than the rule as today’s generation of shepherds
are easily seduced by the lure of public recognition, wealth,
power, sensuality, and personal significance. The evangelical landscape
has become a wasteland of shattered trust and scattered
sheep, largely due to a crop of leaders who have traded their pastoral
call for personal gain. The Apostle Peter exhorted the elders of
the church to “… Shepherd the flock of God…exercising oversight…
according to the will of God” (1 Peter 5:2). Peter reminds
us of the profound mandate given to every overseer, a task that
demands sacrifice and careful stewardship. The sheep are not the
possession of their leaders but rather their immense privilege...

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