One day as Jesus was Preparing to Leave He Said… “Go and Make Disciples” (Matt 28:19)
Week 6, Leaders in the Church, 1 Timothy 3:1-16
“Everything rises or falls with leadership.” John Maxwell
- The Church is an organism (living, growing body). The organism must have organization. The organization must have oversight. That’s why he calls church leaders!
I. The Picture of a Pastor (1-7)
“This is a trustworthy saying: ‘If someone aspires to be a church leader (GK. episkop?), he desires an honorable position.’” (v1)
There are a number of…
- Words in the Bible used to describe a Church Leader/Pastor
- Overseer/Leader – Lead, Office, Charge, Office of Elder
- Bishop/Elder – Look’s after the Church, in Office to Lead/Direct
- Shepherd/Pastor – Cares for their flock, The presiding officer, manager, director, of any church
- In the RCA, our Denomination, Pastor/Shepherd/Leader…is known as Minister of Word and Sacrament.
But whatever we call it, it is all about Leadership
- Whatever name you use for the Church Leader, they are all called to Strive to Holiness
B. Living Blameless: Necessary Church Leader List…
“A church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money.” (vv2-3)
- CORE : Faithful to Wife, Self-Control, Live Wisely, Good Reputation
- SOCIAL: Enjoying Guests, Able to teach, Not a heavy drinker or into violence, friendly not fighting, loves people not money.
“Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.” (v7)
3. Living Family-Man
“He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?” (vv4-5)
Note: it is sad to say this, but I have have known far too many pastor/leaders who neglected their wife and kids…because of ministry, or church or something. They are missing life and God’s calling…how can a man manage a church when his house is in neglect! I have heard too many times and experienced it too many times…To fight this in my own life, I have put myself under Godly men who have Godly families…Ron Ritchie, Bob Logan, Steve Hixon, etc.
4. Living Humble. May become too Proud…Beware of pride. It has destroyed countless leaders and preachers:
“A man’s gifts may take him where his character cannot keep him.”
Hopefully not so with a church leader:
“A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.” (v6)
“But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.” Luke 22:26
II. The Duty of a Deacon (8-13)
He’s part of the team. Moses, Paul and Jesus, all had a team. The deacon (diakonos) is not so much an office but a heart to serve. Every Pastor and Deacon should have a “servant” mentality.
1. Holy Pursuit – Desire to Live with Character.
“In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money.” (v8)
2. These are items we have to Consider:
“Heavy Drinking” and “Dishonest with Money”, two things that can destroy our lives and integrity!
3. For Thousands of Years, these have been the core of many peoples problems…if that’s you…let’s do something about that!! Get some help…What better place than the church?
B. Godly Life and Faith – Believing Right and Living Right
“They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons.”” (vv9-10)
Oh I was examined!!! First at our church in Colorado…I was grilled by a 4-pastor team for about 4 hours, but that was nothing compared to the exam I received to join the RCA. Two Saturdays, full room, tons of questions…yikes…I think I barely passed!!!
- Listen, You Don’t have to be a Christian very long before you see, that theology and ethics cannot be separated without damage to both. How you live and what you believe must be aligned…as a Deacon or any other person in the Faith.
- A Person’s View of God inevitably impacts the way they live their lives and how they believe. Without a biblical view of the Lord’s holiness, for example, it is all too easy to minimize sin and thus fail to confess and repent of it, which in turn makes the pursuit of godliness subject to our looking for loopholes in the law.
- How many people, for instance, try to justify an adulterous relationship by attempting to redefine Scripture’s teaching on love and marriage?
- God’s Word, not our experience, is the final court of appeal when it comes to all matters of faith and life, and we find that Scripture affirms the interrelationship of theology and ethics.
C. MORAL PURITY – Faithful to Wife and Family
“A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well. Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.” (vv12-13)
- Deacons, like elders, must prove their Spiritual Character in the Home. They are to be good managers not only to their children, but also their money, possessions, and everything associated with their own Households. And maybe most important, Faithful to your Spouse!!
III. A Word to the Omen
“In the same way, their wives (or women) must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do.” (v11)
The women in this very old painting are serving communion, which to many churches then and now was looked upon in horror. They didn’t see the value in women that the Word of God does.
- “In the same way”…just like the Elders and Deacons are called to live, Women who Lead are called to live the same way!
- Women who Serve in the Church must be Dignified and Live Respectable lives with others. Living to Encourage, not tear down!
- “They must exercise self-control and be Faithful”…Spirit-led, Responsible for their life and words, Trustworthy, Faithful in the church & family.
- If you are the Wife, or the Husband, of a church Leader, we have to live responsible, God-honoring, Holy lives as well.
“Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household.” (vv14-15)
Conclusion: The church needs leaders who will hold, defend, and promote the glorious truth of the gospel. These Leaders live out their faith in Christ and model this type of life to the Church. Leaders who love their families and strive to be a more like Christ every day.
Someone said, “There is nothing like a local church when it’s working right. Her beauty is indescribable, her power is breathtaking and her potential is unlimited.”
The local church is the hope of the world and its future rests primarily in the hands of its leaders.
HOW HAS GOD CALLED YOU TO LEAD?