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 been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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