“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task…
He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.” 1 Timothy 3:1, 6-12
“We want character but without unyielding conviction; we want strong morality, but without the emotional burden of guilt or shame; we want virtue but without particular moral justifications that invariably offend; we want good without having to name evil; we want decency without the moral authority to insist upon it; we want moral community without any limitations to personal freedom. In short, we want what we cannot have on the terms that we want it.” Al Mohler, The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership That Matters
- If our leaders are not passionately driven by right beliefs, we are headed for disaster or listless conformity (to the spirit of the age).
- Our spiritual maturity will never exceed our knowledge of the bible and the ongoing application of Scripture to daily living.
1. Humility in leadership is of paramount/ultimate importance.
“To even get near [humility], even for a moment, is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert. Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call ‘humble’ nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.” CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, Chapter 8
2. The traits of 1 Timothy 3 are a marked contrast to the attitudes characterizing false teachers. (1 Tim 4:1-5, 6:3-10; 2 Tim 3:1-4; Titus 1:10-16)
3. Specific character traits:
- Worthy of respect/serious-minded/character which merits respect/earnestness of purpose/winsome attractiveness.
- Not double-tongued.
"Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!" Psalm 141:3
"But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your 'yes' be yes and your 'no' be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation." James 5:12
- Moderation in the area of physical appetites, i.e. wine.
- Not materialistic.
- Holds to the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. A clear conscience is an inner guide to life which demonstrates obedience to God, as we understand and apply the Scripture.
- If married, a passionate commitment to your spouse.
1. Why is humility of paramount importance? What marks a humble person?
2. The false teachers were “puffed up with conceit and had an unhealthy craving for controversy” (1 Tim 6:4). Why is that antithetical to leadership which was marked by Jesus’ wash basin and towel?
3. What are levels of seriousness? How do we determine what rises to a specific level of seriousness?
4. How do we show moderation in the area of our physical appetites?
5. How do we inflame and build our conscience?
6. How do we show a passionate commitment to our spouse?
“Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded. The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.” Proverbs 13:13-14
“There is no greater joy than leaving our idols at the cross and walking away freed of those cruel bondages. Expect, welcome, and treasure repentance in yourselves and others. Let Christ break down sloth, lust, pride, coldness, prejudices, despair. He has a great deal of experience cleansing his temples, and you can trust him to overturn in order to fill you with songs of gladness.” C. John Miller, The Heart of the Servant Leader, p.63