1 Timothy 3 is a short chapter but it gets straight to the point. In the past, I’ve quoted this chapter and James 3:1-12 when talking to people who want to lead.
Truth be told, leadership in the church can be very difficult, you have many immature people asking (and demanding answers. Your own issues, and sometimes God isn’t very clear. (Although that can be attributed to a lack of faith and hearing most times).
Regardless many Pastors and Church leaders feel like they’re on an island, and there’s nothing they can do. It’s one of the reasons many Church leaders leave their churches never to preach again.
The stress gets to them.
Whatever your reason to become a leader in the church, I don’t want to scare or dissuade you. My goal with this writing is to inform you. I want you to know what you’re getting yourself into. Many people will tell you the great things that’ll happen.
But for every mountain top, you’ve got a valley to fight through.
Listen to the voice of God, and when you can’t hear, get quieter. Elijah the prophet didn’t hear God in the storm. He heard God after the storm.
Now let’s dig into 1 Timothy 3 and see what we can learn from it.
1 Timothy 3: How A Leader Should Be Viewed In The Church
3 This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position.” 2 So 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.
3 He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. 4 He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. 5 For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?1 Timothy 3:1-5
1 Timothy 3 Some Basic Standards For Church Leaders
I think the first time I heard these standards was when my father wanted to become a deacon at the church I was growing up.
At the time I thought they were a bit much, however, the Bible does mention that leaders will be held accountable due to their increased influence and status. James 3:1 has a warning attached to people who want to become leaders in the church.
This is why Paul gave Timothy this list, and it doesn’t end there. It continues on a bit more. Church leaders need to be above reproach because they tend to be the faces of the church. They’re the ones that people think of when they look at us.
Keep in mind I use the term “leader” loosely. I can mean Pastor or Deacon, but some churches have something called serve team leads (or an equivalent). Having the wrong person lead on one of those teams can have bad ramifications if the people are not ethically or morally stable.
This is why Paul gave Timothy the guidelines in 1 Timothy 3.
In addition to that, we need to remember the state the world was in at that time. We have the luxury of 2000 years of general order, biblical times were not like ours. Although our country is reverting to old paganism, it’s got a little ways to go still.
1 Timothy 3: How A Leader Is Viewed Outside The Church
6 A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. 7 Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.
8 In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money. 9 They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. 10 Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons.1 Timothy 3:6-10
1 Timothy 3 Are They A Leader Outside The Church?
The reason Paul gives Timothy these extra rules to follow is pretty simple. Leaders need to live their life inside and outside the church as the same person. Today we have a lot of people who come into church to worship God and become different people once they leave.
I’ve been guilty of the same thing, so try not to feel bad if you do it too.
I don’t think people have changed that much, and if people haven’t then I suppose they’d face the same thing 2000 years ago.
Let me be clear, I’m not condemning anybody, but Church leaders need to be dedicated to God. They should be the ones who are mature in their faith, and ready to hear the voice/direction of God.
(Click here if you want to learn how to hear God’s voice)
Many people want to lead, but few people can handle it, and fewer still have the heart for it. By putting these rules in place, you’re giving yourself a fighting chance at finding the right type of person.
After all, as a leader, they are the face of Christ, and we need to make sure the right leaders are in place.
This doesn’t mean people who have issues/problems shouldn’t be affected. In time as they grow and mature, they can be made leaders as well.
1 Timothy 3: Leaders And Their Spouses
11 In the same way, their wives must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do.
12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well. 13 Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.1 Timothy 3:11-13
1 Timothy 3 For The Leaders And Their Spouses
It should go without saying that a deacon’s wife shouldn’t be gossiping or slandering others, and the deacon themselves shouldn’t be unfaithful.
Marriage vows are contracts with one’s spouse, they’re one of the most important promises you can make here on earth.
While I believe that God can forgive you, and your sin can be washed away. It does show your character when you decide to cheat on your wife or husband.
Integrity, Faithfulness, and Character are important things in life. And I believe they’re important to God as well. When making a selfish decision (such as cheating) you’re saying that your needs are more important than your spouse and family.
The lives affected can be countless, and the pain caused can be felt for generations.
Live a life of Integrity. Flee from the appearance of evil, and love your family. You won’t have to worry about these rules and obligations then, because you’re already living them.
1 Timothy 3: The Truths of Our Faith
14 I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, 15 so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.
16 Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith:
Christ was revealed in a human body1 Timothy 3:14-16
and vindicated by the Spirit.[h]
He was seen by angels
and announced to the nations.
He was believed in throughout the world
and taken to heaven in glory.
1 Timothy 3: The Truth Of Faith:
I love how Paul ended 1 Timothy 3. He boils down the great mystery of our faith so easily.
Before he writes that, he tells Timothy that we are part of the Church of the Living God. And he states this as a pillar and foundation of truth.
The truth I see is that God loved us (all of us) so much that he sent his only Son Jesus to die. This was done so we could be reconnected to God. Jesus is the Son of God. Notice I didn’t say was? Because he not only died, but he rose again to defeat death, so we could be free.
To receive this freedom, all you need to do is ask for it. Admit you’ve sinned and ask Him to forgive you. Jesus came to rescue us. We all can feel that there’s something wrong with life, and things just don’t match up properly.
We try and try to make things work, but we never will. Only Jesus can fix it, and only he can make us whole.
After all, he’s the one who created us, and if made us, he can fix us.
I hope you liked my latest post. Let me know what you think in the comments below.