How a company describes the type of employees they are looking for can tell you a lot about their corporate culture. One career service organization listed current buzzwords often used in job postings. Some of the most-used words include: “self-starter,” “dynamic,” “detail-oriented,” “flexible,” and even “ninja”!
In today’s reading, Paul begins to outline the qualifications for the office of overseer in the church. His list focuses primarily on the character and reputation of the office holder. The overarching quality is that the overseer should be “above reproach” (v. 2). The other eleven characteristics in these verses give a picture of what that kind of life looks like. The overseer should be “faithful to his wife” (v. 2). Paul is not focused here on whether or not an overseer had to be married, or if he could be remarried. One commentator says Paul is saying that “church leaders live exemplary married lives” if they are married.
Paul assumes that the private life of an overseer will have consequences for the church. An overseer should therefore be temperate and self-controlled (v. 2). These qualities would rule out being controlled by alcohol or greed (v. 3). This kind of life leads others to view him with respect (v. 2). In relations with others, he is to be hospitable (v. 2). He should also be a competent teacher. In the context of heresy in the church, this assumes that the overseer is equipped to refute false teaching.
The leader and teacher of the church should be gentle and “not quarrelsome” (v. 3). This was a problem in Ephesus, where the false teachers were known for their quarrels (1:4). They should lead in a way that promotes peace and unity.
>> What an overwhelming job description! All too often in the news we hear about pastors or church leaders who have succumbed to moral failure. Being a godly leader requires maturity, wisdom, and dependence upon the Spirit. Today, hold up in prayer your pastor and other church leaders.
Lord Jesus, we thank you for today’s reading that shows us the qualities of a true leader! Today we support in prayer our pastors, deacons, and ministry leaders, asking for your Spirit to give them wisdom and strength for the journey.