“Not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (1 Pet 5:3)
Holiness is much more than not drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco. In 1 Peter 5 we learn that the elder is not to be domineering. The exhortation for pastors/elders not to be domineering is rooted in the nature of Jesus Christ. Jesus humbled himself and became man in order to bring about redemption to all creation. As pastors/leaders we must take the same posture of Jesus to those we serve in the local church.
I have been under leadership before that was domineering and it slowly poisons the entire church family. I like lists and in this chapter Wilson gives us “Five Signs You’ve Moved from Shepherding to Domineering”
1. You insulate yourself from criticism and/or interpret any criticism as attacks or insubordination…Pastor, make sure you have honest friends around you, not sycophants. Stay in the company of truth-tellers and do not punish people for sharing with you inconvenient truths. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, ” but “profuse are the kisses of an enemy” (Prov.27:6).
2. You have a paranoia about who is and who isn’t in line…If a leader is constantly worried about who’s on his side and who’s not, who’s saying or thinking about him behind his back, who can be trusted and who can’t, who are allies and who are obstacles, he is entering a world of insecurity that is hostile to the confidence of Christ’s righteousness.
3. You have a need to micromanage or hold others back from leadership opportunities or other responsibilities…Pastor, you can’t and shouldn’t do it all yourself. It’s not healthy for you, and it’s not good leadership of your church to attempt shepherding it as a one-man show. Nobody wins in that situation…
4. You have an impulse to hoard credit or shift blame...Leaders who claim all the credit and clout successes and deny any responsibility for failures aren’t leaders but self-righteous glory hogs.
5. Your progression has regressed to reaction…you talk more about what you are against then what you are for. Criticize and debate more than is needed.
-Taken from chapter two, The Holy Pastor