Living a Life Worthy of Leadership
Scripture: 1 Timothy 3:1-7
“Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his 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, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full 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.”
Let’s look at the qualifications for leadership in the church as outlined in 1 Timothy chapter 3. While these qualifications are specifically for overseers and deacons, there is a valuable lesson for all believers. We should hold ourselves to the same standards, striving to live a life that reflects our faith in Jesus Christ.
The list of qualifications may seem overwhelming at first glance, but at its core, it is a call to love Jesus and surrender our lives to Him. When we genuinely love Jesus, our hearts and actions are transformed, and this transformation becomes evident to those around us. Through this transformed life, we can effectively lead and impact others for the Kingdom of God.
So, how can we practically apply these standards to our own lives? Here are a few insights and action steps:
Above Reproach: Strive to live a life of integrity and moral excellence. Be mindful of your actions and their impact on others. Seek forgiveness and reconciliation when needed.
Faithful in Marriage: Honor the commitment of marriage and cultivate a loving and faithful relationship with your spouse. Invest time and effort into building a strong foundation for your family.
Self-Controlled: Exercise self-discipline in all areas of life, including our thoughts, words, and actions. Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us overcome temptations and develop self-control.
Respectable and Hospitable: Treat others with kindness, respect, and hospitality. Create an environment where people feel welcomed and loved, both within our homes and in our communities.
Able to Teach: Continually grow in our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. Share the truth of the Gospel with others, both through our words and our actions.
Not Given to Drunkenness or Violence: Avoid behaviors that harm ourselves or others. Cultivate a lifestyle of peace, love, and sobriety.
Not Quarrelsome or Lover of Money: Seek unity and harmony in our relationships, avoiding unnecessary conflicts. Prioritize generosity and stewardship over the pursuit of wealth.
Manage Family Well: Prioritize our family relationships and lead by example within our households. Nurture an environment of love, respect, and obedience to God’s principles.
Good Reputation with Outsiders: Live in such a way that our lives become a testimony of God’s grace and love. Let our actions and character draw others to Christ.
As we reflect on these qualifications, let us remember that our aim is not merely to attain positions of leadership, but to allow our faith in God to transform our lives. May we all strive to live a life worthy of leadership, not for our own glory, but for the glory of God and the advancement of His Kingdom.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the wisdom and guidance found in your Word. Help us internalize the leadership standards outlined in 1 Timothy 3 and apply them to our own lives. Transform us, Lord, so that our love for Jesus is evident in every aspect of our lives. Empower us to be leaders in our households, communities, and churches, reflecting your love and grace to those around us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Podcast Transcript: Leadership Standards in Ministry and Life
Some of you may know, I actually was a pastor for a brief time right out of college for actually almost five years. I was in full-time ministry, and I have a heart for ministry, and I have a heart for the church. And that’s a tough position. It is. It’s a tough position to be in.
Qualifications for Leadership
I’m reading through 1 Timothy, and in chapter 3, it’s really talking about the qualifications to even be an overseer or a deacon or an elder and really those are now our official positions of pastor or there’s different labels that depend on the church you go to where they’ll put labels on the leadership at the church. But basically this is the section where it’s talking about what is required of them to even be in a position like that. And the list is pretty long about how their life is supposed to be, how people perceive them from the outside of the church, and so on.
The List of Qualifications
In verse one to chapter three, it says, this is a trustworthy saying. If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. The list of what he’s supposed to be doing is great and can be difficult and overwhelming. To read on verses 2 and following, it says, 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 because 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. And then it goes into talking about the deacons after verse 7.
When I read that, I’m like, man, that’s a lot. That’s a lot of stuff. That’s a lot of stuff, man. That is tough. It’s like, all right, well, you got to meet all these requirements. I’m like, man, that is overwhelming. And then I think, even though I’m not in a position of leadership, shouldn’t we have that same standard for our life anyways? Like, I know that’s for the deacons and for the, specifically it was for the overseers, which is also interchangeable with elders, which really is our pastoral role, but it goes into talking about the deacons as well, very similar situation. Like, you have to be, you have to be living this thing out. You have to have the faith. The faith that actually changes you, where your heart is changed, your actions are changed, and everybody can see it. Until you’re living a life like that, you’re not, or should be, leading the rest of God’s people in any fashion.
Applying the Standards to Ourselves
Ideally, though, I think that we should all have these standards for ourselves. Let’s look at the leadership standards and apply those to ourselves. We should be leaders in our households. We should be leaders in our community. We should be leaders in the church. All of us should not not be a leader because we’re not qualified. Everybody should be in a spot where they’re qualified to be in leadership in some capacity. And really all that is, I mean, this is a long list, but all that really is, is yeah, you love Jesus and you’ve given your life to him. And this is what it looks like when that happens. You should have no problem. If you really love Jesus, I keep telling my kids, what’s the most important thing? Dad, the most important thing is that I love Jesus. Yeah, it is, because it changes everything else. Because if your life isn’t looking like this, then there’s parts of loving Jesus that I think you’re living out or you’re missing out on. I don’t want to push for the end result. I want to push for what causes the end result, and that is a relationship with Jesus.
Let us all live a life where we are qualified for leadership, not so that we can be in leadership, but because our faith in God will change our life. And when our life is changed, it’s going to look a certain way, and it’s going to be an impact on those around us, allowing us to be enlightened to this world that God has called us and wants us to be. For what it’s worth, those are my thoughts on 1 Timothy chapter 3. And as always, I hope that you’re getting into the Word yourself because I have a huge confidence that He will impact you in a deeper and greater way when you’re seeking Him out for yourself.