How does your church pick its leaders? Here’s what I’ve seen:
- Some churches pick old leaders who don’t have the ability for the work
- Some churches pick unqualified leaders who don’t have the character for the work
- Some churches pick young leaders who don’t have the spirituality for the work
In 1 Timothy 3:1-7, God describes the Christ-like leadership he wants to see in the church.
The context is public worship and church order (1 Timothy 2). He then moves on to official church leadership.
LEADERSHIP IS A GOOD ASPIRATION
The work is important
“The saying is trustworthy (1)”.
All the other “faithful sayings” are about salvation through Christ. Paul is warning us that if we g wrong in church leadership and we’ll eventually go wrong in salvation.
The desire is noble
“If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task” (1).
“Overseer” means supervisor, shepherd, pastor, elder. “Noble” means high and lofty. To “aspire” or “desire” means to stretch out for something.
Christ-like leaders know the enormity of the task, and have the energy for the task.
“So, if I want to be a church leader, I should be a church leader?”
LEADERSHIP HAS HIGH QUALIFICATIONS
“Therefore an oversee must be above reproach (2).
“Above reproach” means a good reputation. Criticism has nothing to stick to. This qualification results from two characteristics: self-control and family control
“The husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money” (2-3).
Self-control sums up verses 2-3. The leader is to be self-controlled in sexual matters, behavior, thinking, studying, addictive substances, conflict, speech, finances, and so on.
“He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” (4-5).
Leading well in the home is an indicator that someone will lead well in the church.
Self-control and family control are evidence of Holy Spirit control.
Are you saying, “This doesn’t sound too hard”?
LEADERSHIP STARTS DEVILISH OPPOSITION
The devil wants to puncture you
“He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil” (6).
A balloon is filled with hot air, rises high in the sky and then bursts resulting in a catastrophic fall. That’s what the devil wants to do and the way he does it is giving us way too high thoughts about ourselves.
The devil wants to trap you
“Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil” (7).
The devil wants to trap leaders because he knows that if he can bring down the leaders, he can bring down the church and hinder the spread of the Gospel.
The devil targets leaders because he knows leaders are targeting him.
LIVING THE BIBLE
“Jesus, we worship you as the perfect leader. You aspired to leadership and were up to the task. You were perfectly qualified by your perfect self-control and family control. You defeated the most devilish opposition, puncturing and trapping the devil in the process. Help us to be (and find) able, qualified, and spiritual leaders who will be up to the work, suited to the work, and safe for the work.”