The Qualities of Qualified Church Leaders

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					                                                                                                                      Shaun Lewis
                                                                                                                    (309) 682-1536
                                         The Qualities of Qualified Church Leaders
              Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the
     overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable,
     able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, He must
     manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to
     manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become
     conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that
     he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
              Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing
     dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be
     tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
              In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and
     trustworthy in everything.
              A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those
     who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. – 1 Timothy 3:1-13

     “Many build churches nowadays; their walls and pillars of glowing marble, their ceilings glittering with gold, their altars
     studded with jewels. Yet to the choice of Christ’s ministers no heed is paid.”

          The Necessity of Qualified Church Leaders
           - The people reflect the leader.
               - people, like priest – Hosea 4:9.
               - Everyone, after his has been fully trained, will be like his teacher – Lk. 6:40.
               - “Whatever the leaders are, the people become.” – John MacArthur
           - The work reflects the leader.
               - Elders, in particular, are entrusted with God’s work (Titus 1:7). They are God’s stewards.
               - The quality of their work as stewards will only be as good as the quality of their lives.
               - The ministry of a leader who is lacking in any of the listed qualities will be hindered.

          The Characteristics of Qualified Church Leaders
           - Elders (episkopos; overseer, bishop, one who superintends) – v. 3:1-7
                - Sets his heart on or aspires (to reach out after)... desires (a passionate compulsion).
                           - “The man truly called is marked by an inward consuming passion and a disciplined outward pursuit.
                           Accordingly, he works diligently to prepare himself to be qualified for service.” – John MacArthur.
                - It is a noble (honorable, excellent, intrinsically good) task
                           - The office itself is noble, but the office does not make the man in it noble or worthy of the position.
                           - This is a reminder that the position is quite honorable, so make sure the man who fills it is too.
                - Above Reproach (not able to be held or arrested): The overarching requirement in all these areas.
                An elder who is accused and finds a case can be built for the accusation is not above reproach.
                           - Moral Qualities
                                    - Husband of one wife (One-woman man).
                                              - Not referring to marital status (or it goes against 1 Cor. 7:32-35), but sexual purity.
                                              - Notice that this is the first quality mentioned as it is directed to men.
                                    - Temperate (Wineless or unmixed with wine; metaphorically, alert or watchful).
                                              - Not necessarily a prohibition, but implicates a very high standard for elders.
                                              - Timothy would not even drink the water because it contained alcohol (1 Tim. 5:23).
                                    - Self-Controlled (Prudent; exercising good judgment; not rash)
                                    - Respectable (Orderly, Well Behaved, Unchaotic; Greek word was derived from chaos).
                                              - A man who has his priorities straight.
                                    - Hospitable (To love strangers). See also Job 31:32, Hebrews 13:2.
                                              - It is a love for people who have done nothing to earn your favor.
                                    - Able to teach (Refers to one’s life, knowledge of Scripture, and Spirit-given enablement).
                                              - Only spiritual gift mentioned in this list, and it distinguishes elders from deacons.
                                              - Listed with moral qualities because an elder’s words cannot be divorced from his life.
                                    - Not given to drunkenness (Does not have a reputation as a drinker).
                                    - Not violent but gentle (Not pugnacious; does not lash out, but willingly yields his rights).
                              “…taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
                                                                                                                       Shaun Lewis
                                                                                                                     (309) 682-1536
                                 - Not quarrelsome (Uncontentious; chooses one’s battles). See also 2 Tim. 2:24
                                 - Not a lover of money (Does not pursue riches). See also 1 Pet. 5:2.
                        - Home Life
                                 - Manages (presides over) his family (household) well (excellently or aesthetically pleasing)
                                           - An elder must oversee his family and the resources which he is a steward of.
                                           - His leadership in the home is visibly good or even appealing to others.
                                 - His children obey him with proper respect
                                           - Obey (under control; militaristic term meaning to line up in rank under one authority)
                                           - Proper respect (dignity or stateliness; bringing honor to another)
                                 - The reason: If a man cannot manage his own family, how can he manage God’s Church?
                                           - One must prove himself with little in order to be given much (Matt. 25:29).
                        - Spiritual Maturity
                                 - Not a recent convert (metaphorically, a weak or newly planted tree).
                                           - An elder must be mature (metaphorically, like a strong or older tree).
                                 - The reason: Leadership often puffs up one’s pride
                                           - It caused Lucifer to become proud (Isa. 14:12-16, Ezek. 28:11-19).
                        - Public Reputation
                                 - Reputation (martyr or certifying testimony). His character can be certified by the world.
                                           - An elder has an impeccable reputation with all. Described in Phil. 2:15, Col. 4:5.
                                 - The reason: So that he does not fall into disgrace
                                           - The principle is the same as what Peter writes of in 1 Pet. 2:15.
                        - Possible Applications of Disqualification
                                 - A man who loves people, but always desires something from them in return.
                                 - A man who has been a Christian for 20 years, but knows little doctrine.
                                 - A man whose wife/children do not follow his example.
                                 - A man who manages his family well, but is frivolous with his finances.
          - Deacons (Diakonos; servant) – v. 3:8-10, 12
               - Personal Character
                        - Worthy of respect (dignified; not a flippant or silly person that makes light of spiritual matters)
                        - Sincere (not double-tongued; words are consistent from one person to another)
                        - Not indulging (to occupy oneself with) in much wine (not preoccupied with alcohol)
                        - Not pursuing dishonest gain (does not use his office to make money; has little desire to do so)
               - Spiritual Life
                        - Holds to the Faith (unswerving and uncompromising in doctrine)
               - Christian Service
                        - Tested (an ongoing test; a general assessment of their former service)
                        - NIV excludes and let these also which causes this test to be applicable to elders as well.
               - Moral Purity
                        - Husband of one wife (One-woman man).
               - Home Life
                        - Manages (presides over) his family (household) well (excellently or aesthetically pleasing)
          - Deaconesses – v. 3:11
               - Support for this interpretation
                        - their wives is incorrect, should be women in a general sense as in the NAS.
                        - Diakonos is neutered and there is no word for deaconess so Paul used women to refer to them.
                        - Lack of a possessive pronoun supports a deaconess not a deacon’s wife
               - Though similar to deacons, their role is not authoritative (1 Tim. 3:12).
               - worthy of respect (dignified), not a malicious talker (slanderer), temperate (wineless or alert), trustworthy.

        Closing Notes
         - These, along with those in Titus 1, are the only qualities to evaluate one for church leadership.
             - Our preferences should never override God’s Word when choosing a leader.
             - Ex: The Israelites in choosing Saul as their 1 king and never seeking God on this (1 Sam. 8, 9:2).
         - Though these qualities must describe church leaders, as Christians they should describe our lives and our
         reputations as well (1 Pet. 2:12).

                            “…taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

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