The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 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 (1 Timothy 3:1-7).
Most of the problems in most churches are directly traceable to the failure of leadership in the church. If people in a church have bad theology, it is traceable to the bad theology of the leaders – bad teaching. If there is great gossip and division, it is because the leaders in the church have not been strong in keeping an eye on things and making sure that everybody’s loving each other and doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
Every year about 3,500 churches close each year, and one of the major issues is the lack of leadership. How pastors are called and prepared for the work and ministry of leading a church is an incredibly important subject. The Bible uses several terms or synonyms for the office of pastor, including overseer, bishop, shepherd, and elder.
You have been affected by church leadership. You’ve grown as a result of godly pastors. You may have been hurt deeply by some church leaders and pastors.
This is why we must realize that the level of leadership in this church will have a direct effect on the spread of the gospel. If we become casual about holiness and casual about mission, this will have devastating effects on the church. Therefore, we must anchor everything we believe and do in the bedrock of Jesus Christ.
Paul began 1 Timothy on this bedrock when he addressed the problem of the false teachers. He said that they must have a proper understanding of Jesus, that He lived without sin, died for our sin, has risen from the dead. They must understand that salvation available only through Christ. When we begin with sound doctrine, then we can grow in and to spiritual health.
If you understand who Jesus is, then you start to think theologically and that results in a healthy life – healthy leaders, healthy people, healthy families, healthy church. Follow the trail: sound healthy doctrine leads to spiritually healthy people out of which will come spiritually healthy and qualified leaders in the church.
Because of Jesus,