Character in Leadership Ensures the Presence of the Gospel in Any City.

As we study the final three qualifications for pastor-teachers, remember that all of the qualities in this list (except skill in teaching) are ones that all believers are told to emulate elsewhere in Scripture. Pastors are to set the example for everyone in the church.


Manage His Household Well (1 Timothy 3:4-5)

The word "manage" means to preside over, and the term "household" encompasses everything that a home is to be. This includes the finances, behavior, and even aesthetic appearance of the pastor's home.

Paul zeroes in on how a pastor relates to his children in his home. In Titus 1:6, he gives another young pastor even more specific instructions: a pastor's children must embrace the faith of their parents. This requirement purposely comes toward the end of the sequence. If a pastor is already living out the virtues already mentioned, it should be natural for his children to be saved after watching his lifestyle. He should be known within his home for loving more than lecturing. As he mirrors Christ's character in family relationships, Christ will become attractive to members of his household.

This list lays out expectations for pastors, not suggestions. This expectation especially can place a difficult burden on a pastor's heart. That is why the salvation of our children must be at the top of our prayer list. God is ultimately sovereign over salvation, so the church must discern as a general rule if a pastor's character enables his children to gladly put themselves under his spiritual authority.

Not a New Convert (1 Timothy 3:6)

Paul warns that a man should not be called "pastor" too early, lest he fall into pride like the devil. Ezekiel 28:1-19 shows that Satan became enamored with his own splendor. Young people more easily become full of pride. The phrase "new convert" has the same root as our word "neophyte," which evokes the image of a small plant that is easily plucked out.

Immaturity is also prone to discontent. A pastor must not allow himself to be distracted from what he was created to do and to be. He should not be primarily known for seeking after other ventures (2 Timothy 2:4-5). His first priorities are to love his Lord, his family, his flock, and his community.

A Good Reputation (1 Timothy 3:7)

This phrase is a wrap-up of the concept of "blameless" in verse 1, but specifically refers to a pastor's reputation with those outside the church. If a pastor is to have a reputation of any kind, he must first be known in the community! This requires spending enough time with people that they are able to evaluate his character. He will not be able to know everyone, of course, but his name should have a good association in places of authority.

The last phrase of the chapter shows that personal evangelism outside the church helps a pastor avoid "reproach and the snare of the devil." A lack of personal evangelism affects a pastor's soul, which then affects his church.

Application Points

  • Is the salvation of children a top priority in your prayer list? Do you pray for your pastors' children to be saved?
  • Allow your pastors time to develop relationships in the community. Then follow their example: Do you have friends who are unbelievers? Do you spend enough time with them that they can evaluate your character?

Tools for Further Study

Quotes to Ponder

What leaders live in microcosm, the church lives in macrocosm.
— R. Kent Hughes

A Hymn to Encourage: "I Will Follow"

I will follow Thee, my Savior, where-e’er the pathway may go:
Through the storm or through the valley or through great trials so low.
I rest in Thee, trust in Thee, I place my life in Thy hands.
I will follow Thee, my Savior; Lead on, my Shepherd, lead on.

I will live for Thee, my Savior, Tho’ war and strife mark the way.
I’m so weak, but Thou art mighty, so live through me day by day.
I rest in Thee, trust in Thee, I place my life in Thy hands.
I will follow Thee, my Savior; Lead on, my Shepherd, lead on.

I surrender all, my Savior, I hold no thing back from Thee;
Every part is Thine to use, Lord, Thy living sacrifice be.
I rest in Thee, trust in Thee, I place my life in Thy hands.
I will follow Thee, my Savior; Lead on, my Shepherd, lead on.