1 Timothy 3:1-7
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
The Greek word for Overseer is “episkopos” and that word is one of the 3 words used interchangeably in the New Testament for a position in church that we at Living Faith call “Lead Pastor.”
From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders (presbuteros) of the church.
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers (episkopoi). Be shepherds (poimen) of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
All of those words point to the same office, that we here call: Lead Pastor
In this section, Paul doesn’t mention anything about skill, availability, or experience. All of these things are about character:
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task
Wanting to serve God in that way is good, but Paul is warning Timothy that the bar is set high.
Now the overseer is to be above reproach
The greek word for “above reproach” also means, “blameless” or “irreproachable,” meaning: “Nothing to take hold upon.” Being blameless means that there’s nothing that someone could bring up before the church that would disqualify that man from the office of Lead Pastor.
faithful to his wife
If the man is married, he should be fully devoted to his wife, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
This means the man to look for is someone who is stable and trustworthy. This is not the kind of person who is going to flop back and forth daily in their personality or their leadership direction.
This is someone who knows how to act in every circumstance, someone who is sober minded.
This is someone who people look up to. People should respect the way they live their lives. This is the same word in the Greek used for “modest”
in 1 Timothy 2, talking about how women should dress.
They need to be ready and willing to serve people with their lives
and have people in their homes.
able to teach
A good leader is able to learn as much as possible and share the knowledge with other people.
not given to drunkenness
This man has to be someone who doesn’t get drunk, and isn’t looking to get comfort from alcohol, or really any other substance that alters their state of mind.
not violent but gentle
This is a man who the church needs to see as a safe place. He can't be someone who loses his temper privately or publicly.
This man shouldn’t be starting fights all of the time or always be in disagreements with everyone around Him.
not a lover of money
This needs to be someone who uses his money FOR the Kingdom instead of using God’s Kingdom to get more money.
He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)
You can tell a lot about someone by how healthy their home life is. If someone looks great on the outside, but their marriage or their kids are a wreck, it shows a better picture than what you see on the outside.
He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.
New believers should not be pastors right away. Give them time to grow in their maturity as a person and as a follower of Jesus so they don’t let it go to their head.
He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
Not only does this person need to be respected in the church, they need to be respected in the community too.
1 Timothy 3:8-13
8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.
Our Life Group Leaders NEED to stand on the truth of the Bible. If they are swayed by culture, or live a different life at home or work than they do at church, they are not fit to be life group leaders.
They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
Deacons or Life Group Leaders need to be tested to see that they live a life worthy of leadership.
In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
Women are specifically called out as able to be in this role. But, this specifically adds in things women need to look out for:
1 Timothy 3:14-16
14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:
He appeared in the flesh,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.
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2120 W. Washington St.
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