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1 Peter 5:3

ESV not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
NIV not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
NASB nor yet as domineering over those assigned to your care, but by proving to be examples to the flock.
CSB not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
NLT Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.
KJV Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

What does 1 Peter 5:3 mean?

Peter continues his instructions to the elders or leaders of the local churches who will receive this letter. In the previous verse, Peter has been clear that an elder must genuinely want the position. He must be eager to serve other believers in the "flock" as a shepherd serves his sheep. This cannot be coerced, or motivated by money. Elders must serve only out of a sincere desire to guide others in their Christian walk.

In this verse, Peter concludes the thought by revealing that good church leadership is about showing, not merely telling. An elder's primary responsibility is to be an example to other believers of how to follow Jesus. This especially includes times of suffering and / or persecution.

Also, while an elder does hold authority in the church, he must not "lord it over" others or be overbearing. The elder's calling is not a license to force others into obedience. He is called to show people how to obey God. A dictatorial or heavy-handed approach is incompatible with God's will for the church elder.
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