Summary: Paul sets before us a worthy goal-which most of us will work on for a lifetime

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1. Above reproach 1 Timothy 3:2

This phrase serves as a general summary of all the character qualities a leader should have. The Greek word describes a garment without any "folds." When applied to personal character, it means that leader must be free from any secret or hidden pockets of sins. Said another way, it means that a godly leader is one whose life is such that there is nothing

a detractor can "grab hold of." The Living Bible uses the phrase "a good man whose life cannot be spoken against." Knox says "one with whom no fault can be found." It means that no charge could be brought against such a person that would withstand impartial examination. Leaders are often attacked, their motives questioned, their actions criticized. While

such things do happen, a leader who is truly above reproach will weather the storm because there is nothing about him which a person could say, "Aha! I gotcha." This means no questionable conduct, no secret sins, no deliberately unresolved conflicts.

Lest this seem too discouraging, I should point out that to be "above reproach" describes not perfection, but a model Christian life. We should expect nothing less from our leaders.

2. Blameless Titus 1:6,7

This word comes from the legal realm and carries a slightly different connotation. It means "without indict-ment" or "unaccusable." The difference is this: "Above reproach" means "one who could not be

accused," while "Blameless" means "one who is not accused." Taken together they establish a very high standard of personal conduct.

3. Respectable 1 Timothy 3:2

The Greek word is kosmion--from which we get the English word "cosmos." Its describes a person whose life is well-ordered and well-arranged. Another word might be "dignified." This quality is seen in a leader’s outward behavior-his dress, his manners, his speech, the way he relates to the opposite sex. It touches the way he keeps his home and how he handles

the various affairs of life. It basically describes a person who can keep a dozen balls in the air at one time-without dropping any and without saying, "Hey, look at me!" Such a person can work through difficult

problems with clear thinking. To use an old phrase that sounds sadly out-of-date, a man with this quality is a "Christian gentleman."

Titus 2:9-10 uses another form of this word to encourage slaves to "make

the teaching about God our Savior attractive." Godly leaders should live

in such a way that their life beautifies the gospel. A "respectable"

person makes Jesus beautiful and the gospel attractive to outsiders.

4. Hospitable Titus 1:8

The word literally means a "lover of strangers." We might tend to overlook this quality, but in the early church hospitality was non-negotiable. In those days there were no Holiday Inns or Marriott Hotels where traveling Christians could safely spend the night.

Therefore, if you came to my town, you automatically planned to stay with me and I automatically opened my home to you. The fact that I didn’t know you beforehand wouldn’t matter. If you were a brother in Christ, then my home was your home. In addition, since the early church had no buildings, the believers met in homes. Every church was a house church and

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