Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:3
Show them not tell them.
This is one principle I applied when I was teaching in the university or when teaching professional power system seminars. I teach electrical engineering courses thus it is highly technical stuff. I’ve got lectures, books and journals to refer to. I would cite the theories and even the practical applications for each section. However, students would consider all of the above but would really appreciate what I am talking about when I give examples. They would understand fully when an example is thrown into the discussion. The students would have a good grasp of the lesson when I give not just another example but a very good example.
Examples are very important. They show the theory plus the reality. As one would say, “Christianity is caught not taught.”
You can be the best speaker of the Word. You can be the prolific writer about the Word. You are this magnetic person who can stand in front of people and make them mesmerize about God. Yet, if you don’t live the Word to show an example, you are all talk.
Paul is right on the money. When someone lords over the flock, he usually uses his words or authority to drive the ministry. He doesn’t serve mainly based on the way he lives his life. He lords when he asked the followers to do something he is not willing to do. He lords when he points to a direction he is not willing to take. He lords when he sings a different tune whereby he conducts another song.
You must lead and live by example. Serve with the flock. Serve in the most unwanted ministry. Spend time with the most unloved member of the church or community. Get your hands dirty with the most blue collar service. After you preach, take time to help out in setting down the meeting place. Pray when you want your child to pray. Let the flock get a grasp of the Word with your life. Live a very good example.
St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” When necessary use words, only when necessary. What is necessary is to lead and live by example.