The leading question (1 Timothy 3 v 1-7)
The leading question 1 Timothy 3 v 1-7
What should be on the resumé of a church leader?
Read 1 Timothy 3:1
Leadership: the task
In verse 1, Paul talks about an “overseer”. Traditionally this has been translated “bishop”; but Paul seems to have in mind anyone who is in authority over a church. The term “overseer” applies as much to a pastor or teacher in an individual
church as it does to someone who has oversight of a group of congregations.
• What does Paul say about the task of being an “overseer” (v 1)?
This letter gives us an idea of how pastors should be chosen:
• We’ve already seen that “prophecies” were made about Timothy as a leader (1 v 18): there needs to be a sense that
God is calling an individual to teaching leadership.
• In 1 Timothy 4:14, Paul will talk about the time “the body of elders laid their hands on” Timothy: there needs to be public affirmation from the wisest, older members of a congregation that their church recognises an individual as called to be leader.
• In 3 v 1, Paul is referring to an inner desire to take on the “noble” task of oversight: a pastor needs to have set their heart on serving in this privileged, though difficult, way.
Leadership: the type
• Pick out the fourteen “qualifications” Paul says an overseer needs (v 2-7).
• For each of these, think about why that qualification is so important for an overseer.
• What are the dangers Paul picks out:
• in v 6?
• in v 7?
These are two separate dangers. In verse 6, Paul is thinking about a pastor becoming like the devil: proud, and so rebellious, and so facing judgment. In verse 7, the danger is a pastor falling into the “devil’s trap” of having a bad reputation
among the wider community, so that people don’t take Christ seriously.
Pray for your church pastor(s):
Thank God for calling them to their “noble task”.
Pray that in each of the areas mentioned in v 2-7, God would protect them from attack and falling into sin.
Pray that you would be able to know how to support and encourage your overseers as they teach and lead you.
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