Summary: What characteristics should mark a pastor’s life? Paul briefly described some qualifications that the elders or overseers should have. Paul had given Timothy a similar set of instructions for the church in Ephesus.
PASTORS (Clergy, Ministers, Preachers)
WHO PASTORS ARE
What characteristics should mark a pastor’s life?
KEY BIBLE VERSE: I left you there on the island of Crete so that you could do whatever was needed to help strengthen each of its churches, and I asked you to appoint pastors in every city who would follow the instructions I gave you. (Titus 1:5 (quickview) , TLB)
Pastors should model personal obedience to God. Paul briefly described some qualifications that the elders or overseers should have. Paul had given Timothy a similar set of instructions for the church in Ephesus (see 1 Timothy 3:1-7 (quickview) 5:22). Notice that most of the qualifications involve character, not knowledge or skill. A person’s life-style and relationships provide a window into his or her character. Consider these qualifications as you evaluate a person for a position of leadership in your church. It is important to have leaders who can effectively preach God’s Word, but it is even more important to have those who can live out God’s Word and be examples for others to follow.
KEY BIBLE VERSE: I have used Apollos and myself as examples to illustrate what I have been saying: that you must not have favorites. You must not be proud of one of God’s teachers more than another. (1 Corinthians 4:6 (quickview) , TLB)
Pastors are not to be status seekers. The Corinthians had split into various cliques, each following its favorite preacher (Paul, Apollos, Peter, etc.). The people in each clique believed they were the only ones to have the whole truth, and thus they felt spiritually superior. But Paul told the groups not to boast about being tied to a particular preacher, because each preacher was simply a humble servant who had suffered for the same message of salvation in Jesus Christ. No preacher of God has more status than another.
KEY BIBLE VERSE: 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. (1 Timothy 3:2-4 (quickview) , NIV)
Church leaders should be reflections of God’s truth. To be a church leader ("overseer") is a heavy responsibility because the church belongs to the living God. Church leaders should not be elected because they are popular, nor should they be allowed to push their way to the top. Instead, they should be chosen by the church because of the respect for the truth, both in what they believe and in how they live.
Church leaders should be faithful to family responsibilities. Christian workers and volunteers sometimes make the mistake of thinking their work is so important that they are justified in ignoring their families. Spiritual leadership, however, must begin at home. If a man is not willing to care for, discipline, and teach his children, he is not qualified to lead the church. Don’t allow your volunteer activities to detract from your family responsibilities.