1 Timothy 3:1-7
3 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.
What an impressive list of qualities! I seldom encounter leadership material that covers such personal characteristics; qualities that truly speak volumes of one’s heart. What makes Paul’s list even more remarkable is that these qualities are not of what one should do, but rather of what one should be.
I imagine a caricature of Timothy conducting job interviews for the church after posting in the ‘Ephesus Times’. Who would be fit to serve the church? Who could, above reproach, tend to the bride of Christ? How many would fail the lofty list outlined? Of course, this is not exactly how it really happened, but the severity and weight of this ‘noble task’ still stands. The high expectations go hand-in-hand with the Biblical importance of the role.
How does this parallel to my mentoring and spiritual teaching? As I witness for Christ, may I learn that more is learned through living than through lectures. In making disciples, followers of Christ for God’s Kingdom, I need to realise that those with great responsibility must also meet high expectations.
Lord, may the leadership in Your church reflect the qualities outlined in this passage. Guide our hearts to be good stewards and servants of the church. May those who aspire to this noble task be in your favour and love. Thank you for the leadership in our church and your continued presence in the ministry for You. In your precious name, Jesus.
Written by Sven Bessesen