Good coaches emphasize the fundamentals because they are essential for success. At the end of chapter 3, Paul gives a parenthetical reminder to Timothy. If the churches that Timothy oversees at Ephesus are to have spiritual success, they must stay focused on their mission.
Content and disposition are both important in communication and leadership. Saying the right thing in the wrong way can hurt more than help. When Jesus spoke, He only scolded religious unbelief. He reserved harshness for those who should have known better.
The human authors that God used to pen the Bible each wrote with their own disposition and personality. We must read each of their books understanding their unique style. Paul gave Timothy essential information to govern God's church, assuming that Timothy was ready to embrace his instruction.
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.
As a poet said, the things that matter most must never be put at the mercy of things that matter least. When Paul writes the qualifications for pastors, a leader's character is what matters most. If local churches are to perpetuate Gospel influence, character must always be held above any gimmicky attempts to make the church popular or the Bible "relevant."
In 1 Timothy 3, Paul writes Timothy about the qualifications for leadership in the church. His comments raise two questions: Do you aspire to be a leader? Do you qualify? This particular section is addressed to men, but all people in the church should aspire to have character that mirrors their leaders.
Three Greek words are used interchangeably to describe one position of leadership in the church. In English, these are translated as pastor, teacher, overseer or elder. 1 Timothy 3 describes the character that should exist among leadership families.
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