1 Timothy 3:1-7
3 Here is a saying you can trust. If anyone wants to be a leader in the church, he wants to do a good work for God and people. 2 A leader must be free from blame. He must be faithful to his wife. In anything he does, he must not go too far. He must control himself. He must be worthy of respect. He must welcome people into his home. He must be able to teach. 3 He must not get drunk. He must not push people around. He must be gentle. He must not be a person who likes to argue. He must not love money. 4 He must manage his own family well. He must make sure that his children obey him and show him proper respect. 5 Suppose someone doesn’t know how to manage his own family. Then how can he take care of God’s church? 6 The leader must not be a new believer. If he is, he might become proud. Then he would be judged just like the devil. 7 The leader must also be respected by those who are outside the church. Then he will not be put to shame. He will not fall into the devil’s trap.
It is a wonderful thing that we are told that aspiring to a leadership position is good and honourable. Why? Because of the description of maturity which follows. Our goal, as Christians, is to constantly seek to grow in our ‘Christlikeness’. Here is a description of someone who has grown. Whether we become leaders or not we should all aspire to be like the person in this passage – with maturity, humility and self-control.
If we are leaders these qualities in us serve two purposes.
One is to provide a good example to those we lead, to then help them to grow. It is interesting that Paul advises against new Christians becoming leaders too soon, because of the risk of pride causing them to fall.
The second purpose is to be a good witness to the world. We are God’s representatives on earth. When “people outside the church speak well” of a leader, God is seen in a more positive light. But when we fall, although this is grossly unfair to God, people outside the church may look negatively on Him. No wonder we need maturity to lead!
Lord, please help me be controlled by your Spirit, so that I may grow more like you throughout my life. Help me to encourage others to grow too, and help me be a good witness so that “in my going I may make disciples”
Written by Megan Cornell