Together in Christ: 'Church Leaders' — 1 Timothy 3:1-2

Monday, September 9, 2024

This is a trustworthy saying: "If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position." So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.
— 1 Timothy 3:1-2 NLT

Key Thought

Aspiring to be a leader in Jesus' church is an admirable and worthy goal. However, God wants leaders to be people who reflect His righteous character, gracious compassion, and faithful justice. So, Paul gives Timothy guidelines as his younger protege works with the church in Ephesus to appoint and affirm leaders. We will look at these guidelines over the next few days. We cannot overestimate the importance of these guidelines. Churches around the world face a crisis in leadership. The spiritual failure of many leaders has given the church a bad name. The weariness in many of our best pastoral leaders of godly character leads many to resign.

Today, we begin with the reminder that Christian and church leadership are honorable roles. We should pray for the Lord to raise godly leaders and for mature Christians to seek to lead in these roles honorably. Please notice that the Scriptures frequently emphasize many of these qualities.

  • A person who has lived a godly life and has a good reputation for high character.
  • A person who is proven to be faithful in marriage.
  • A person who is self-controlled, living under the influence of the Spirit.
  • A person who lives wisely and is known as a good person.
  • A person who is open to others and hospitable, welcoming guests into the home.
  • A person who knows the Scriptures and can teach well.

So, are you encouraging leaders and affirming leaders? Are you encouraging young and faithful people to aspire to lead in God's family? These are things we can and must do if we are going to have strong leadership in the future. We live in a hypercritical culture focusing on flaws, deficits, and appearances. God asks more of us as His people. In addition to focusing on the kinds of leaders we want in Jesus' church, let's also remember this warning about how we live with leaders:

Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord's work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other. [1]
[1] 1 Thessalonians 5:12–13.

Today's Prayer

Loving God, I am praying today for our leaders in Your church. Please protect them physically and spiritually. We need them, and I pray for them to live into the character You want them to display in their lives. Please use me to love, support, and encourage them. Please correct me, and if necessary, confront me when I do not respect them as I should. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Titus 1:5-9
  • Acts 20:16-38

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Illustration

Illustration of 1 Timothy 3:1-2 NLT — This is a trustworthy saying: "If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position." So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.