Thursday, September 7, 2017

I Timothy 3: What Leadership Looks Like

In I Timothy 3, Paul addresses the necessary qualifications for church leadership.  What sort of person ought elders and deacons to be?

In general, Paul expects that leaders in the church will be experienced Christians.  He writes that they shall have been first tested (deacons) and not be recent converts (elders).  Both elders and deacons are required to have no more than one wife.  They are also both expected to be good managers of their own household, the understanding being that one cannot lead the church if he cannot lead his own family.

In addition to this are a number of character traits spelled out.  Elders must be above reproach, sensible, respectable, an apt teacher, gentle, and avoiding temptations to alcohol, violence, or money.  The list for deacons is similar: serious and committed men of integrity, not going in for alcohol or money.

In humility, we are often able to better spot these qualifications in others rather than in ourselves.  (I suppose that in pride we may be able to better spot these qualifications in ourselves rather than in others...)

The Church still needs leaders in the 21st century.  Are we holding up the offices of elder and deacon to a new generation and inviting them to take on the necessary positions of management and leadership in the church?  Is God calling you to "aspire to the noble task" of the office of elder (or deacon)? (vs. 1)

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