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Between the Words … Pastor Jim’s Perspectives on the Weekend Behind and the Week Yet to Come (October 21, 2019)

It all rises and falls on leadership

I am really enjoying teaching our series on 1 and 2 Timothy; there is so much valuable material in those two books. But, I have to admit that 1 Timothy 3 was a real challenge to me. The message went forth in the midst of Pastor Appreciation Month AND, this particular chapter dealt with qualifications of the bishop; it just seemed that it could appear as self-serving. I pray that it didn’t.

But too, I realized that the ideal for a bishop (elder, pastor, overseer) was being established for the purpose of being exemplary for the entire church to see and model after. These are the qualifications Paul presented to Timothy:

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. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. 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?

A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap (1 Timothy 3: 2-7 NLT).

And while these are certainly the ideal, they are by no means presenting that this office is to be one of perfection.

And, too, these are to be modeled before the entire church – so that the church can see and follow in that model. Wow! Lofty expectations BUT, the Holy Spirit empowers us to walk in those actions if we will co-operate with Him.

Therefore, I am greatly encouraged with the role that God has placed before us – before His leadership – before His church. He has called us. He has positioned us. He has equipped us and empowered us. What a great place to be.

Dr. Jim Garrett