Did you know that as a spiritual leader, God will hold you accountable for the spiritual condition of the people you lead? You are a steward of the leadership responsibilities and the people He has entrusted to you (1 Peter 5:2, 3) and you and I will someday give an account to Him (Matthew 25:19; see vv. 14-30 for the entire parable).

In Hosea 4, God held the spiritual leaders accountable for the spiritual condition of the people.

“Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame! Look, you priests, my complaint is with you!” (Hosea 4:4, NLT).

If you’re a leader, don’t point fingers at the people you’re leading. Look in the mirror first. God’s complaint may be with you!

In verse 6, God says, “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. It is all your fault, you priests, for you yourselves refuse to know me.” Spiritual growth–discipleship–begins with us as leaders. We know that. We’ve heard it before. But I wonder how seriously we take it.

As I read this passage, I feel the weight of my spiritual leadership responsibility. And I should feel that weight! People’s lives are at stake. Many people are depending on me to be a model of what having a real relationship with the living God looks like. God will someday hold me accountable for what I did with what he entrusted me. And yet, I realize that I don’t have to carry this heavy burden myself. In surrender, I can take it to Jesus, and he will provide me with rest and peace. In his presence and by his power the burdens–even the leadership burdens–are not heavy at all.

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Michael Mack has led Small Group Leadership full-time since 2012, but has been involved in small group ministry for more than 25 years. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. Their family small group, which includes their four young adult children, has much potential (and much anticipation) for future growth and multiplication. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of great friends who participate together in various charity rides. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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