Church leaders are those who lead the church, who manage the household of God and serving as shepherds to God’s people. It is a noble task and to be esteemed among those in the church as well as those outside of the church. In most of our churches, we choose the educated, rich, influential and those who are accomplished in the eyes of the world. They are those who have the gifts to do the job and can get things done. As you read the lists of qualifications for choosing overseers and deacons, the majority of these qualifications have to do with one’s character and spiritual life rather than the ability to do the job in the church.
The key word seems to be “manage”. Those who manage the household of God must first of all be able to manage his own family. His marriage must be sound, his children must follow the Lord and obedient, his family life must be peaceful and harmonious, setting a good example for others.
A church leader must also be able to manage himself -- to have self-control. Self-control is the sign of being controlled by the Holy Spirit, suppressing his own self and submitting to the rule of God. His words must be proper and gentle, not oppositional or contentious. His temper must be in check, not hurting others with what he says. Alcohol must not control him and he can overcome any form of addiction.
In the area of money, a church leader must not be a lover of money. Making money must not be his primary goal in life. He rules over his material possessions but would not let them rule over him. This is reflected in his generosity toward others in need, helping others with his money and showing hospitality by receiving the needy into his home. He gives also toward God and is a tither, not robbing God of what is due to Him.
The only ministry skill mentioned is the ability to teach. Again, this does not mean that he is a good teacher but one who can teach by example, imparting his life to others in the church. Teaching is not teaching an abstract concept, it is about living the Christian life. Even in teaching, it is about life and character, not about how much one knows but how much one practices the faith.
Satan often attacks the church leadership, tempting them to sin. Paul mentions “the condemnation of the devil” and “ a snare of the devil” in association with church leadership. If a church leader is becoming proud and do not manage his own life, God’s name is easily blasphemed. Many leaders have fallen into disgrace. Are you a church leader? Guard yourself. Begin to pray for the leaders in your church now.
Ps 117:1-2 Jer 31:27-32:44 1 Tim 3:1-16 Prov 25:20-22