The qualifications and duties of elders are spelled out clearly in the Scriptures because leadership is so foundational to the health of the church. But the congregation also has responsibilities to the elders that are crucial for maintaining unity and fulfilling the Great Commission.
Are the qualifications for deacons less than those for elders? Are deacons required to teach? Can women serve as deacons? We find the answers to these questions here as the Apostle Paul wrote this letter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so that we might know how we "ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).
There is so much misunderstanding among Christians of biblical leadership in general, and the role of both elders and deacons in particular. When we do a deep dive into the office deacon, we find that it is a wonderful part of our Lord Jesus' design for the life and growth of his church.
The qualification for an elder to be "able to teach" (1 Tim. 3:2) does not simply refer to a man's ability to captivate an audience. While the supernatural gift of teaching is essential, the content of what is taught is far more important than how it is packaged for delivery. An elder must be wholeheartedly committed to God's word so that he may be able to preach it accurately.
The man who would aspire to the office of elder must be one who gives evidence of a transformed life. Over and above any giftedness or ability, he must be above reproach in his character as the example to the flock.
A man who is qualified for the office of elder is a man of exemplary character. When defining what this looks like, it's helpful to note what it doesn't. What sort of character disqualifies a man from eldership?
All too often, churches look for leaders who are extraordinary communicators, have CEO management skills, and a track record of results. But the Lord Jesus Christ is more concerned about a man's character than his charisma. He has given us a list of what a man must be if he is to manage the household of God, and it begins with an evaluation of his own home.
The Bible is far from silent on the issue of church leadership. We should expect this to be the case since the church is made up of those whom the Lord Jesus purchased with His own blood. He said, "I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it," and His blueprint for leadership provides for a sure foundation.
The truth of the Gospel is a treasure that God revealed in His time and in His way. What the Lord entrusted to the Apostles was proclaimed and codified in His word so that we might pass it on to the next generation.
The Apostle Paul referred to the gospel and all it's implications as a precious treasure that must not only be protected and proclaimed, but passed on to others. In the introduction to this little letter, we find the reason why this message is so priceless and how we can find assurance of our salvation and grace to be transformed.
Among those who claim to have the truth are many who allegedly speak for God and even use the title "apostle." How can we know someone is a genuine spiritual leader? The Apostle Paul provides a template for those who possess the qualities that are necessary in a true servant of Christ.