Seeking Out Spiritual Leadership
I Peter 5:1-4 “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
In the text, Peter is calling a select group of individuals to come forth so that he might have a particular effect on their lives; in this case, the development of spiritual leadership. Peter assumed the role of a spiritual mentor for the purpose of developing spiritual leadership in others! In most cases, we encourage a Paul to hunt a Timothy or an Elijah to hunt an Elisha, but what is wrong with the idea of a Timothy seeking out a Paul? There is great wisdom in seeking out a spiritual mentor to draw from them the spiritual wealth God has deposited in them.
If this is to prove spiritually profitable, we must know what to look for in a spiritual mentor. Within the text, there are three conditions that must be met for a person to be a spiritual mentor. If that person is to propel you forward in your relationship with Christ, they must have the right motive, “not by constraint, but willingly.” The person you seek does not perceive you as an obligation, but an opportunity! They see some things in you that are worth mining out and developing. The difference between the two is one is marked by how much they have to do and the other in how much they can do in helping you become all God wants for you.
The person you want has the right motivation, “not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.” In many cases, people that pose as spiritual mentors are interested in gaining and not giving. When they look at you they see spiritual dollar signs. Peter declares that there should be a cheerful readiness that translates into a willingness to give of themselves. It is not lucre, but love that encourages them to deposit into you the spiritual wealth they have acquired.
The right mentor has the right mentality, “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples.” The person that you want does not consider you his servant, but his student. When Peter reached out to this select group, he declared himself to be one of them, “who am also an elder.” Some use people to build a ministry while others use the ministry to build people! In spite of the fact that Timothy did serve under Paul, when Paul made reference to him, he spoke of Timothy as “my dearly beloved son” II Timothy 1:2) and “our brother” (II Corinthians 1:1).
Seek out a spiritual leader that can serve as a mentor! The qualifications for the job is that they see in you an opportunity worth investing in; their objective is giving so that you might profit from their investment and it’s all accomplished in the spirit of being “a true yokefellow.” If you are fortunate to find such a person, give thanks unto the Lord for gracing you with such a precious gift and take their investment in you and pass it one to another!