1 Timothy 3:1-7

1 Timothy 3:1-7

Qualifications for Pastors/Elders/Overseers

May 3, 2009

Simon Goncharenko


A Southern Baptist Church



The Big Idea:  since the office of church leadership (pastorate) is so important, the man who fills it must be uniquely qualified. 


I.        It is a high and costly aspiration to be a pastor/elder/overseer – v. 1

According to the New Testament, the terms “bishop” (ἐπίσκοπος – overseer), “pastor” (ποιμήν),  and “elder” (πρεσβύτερος) are synonymous and interchangeable.  In Acts 20:17, 28, Paul charges the Ephesian elders (πρεσβυτέρους), “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers (ἐπισκόπους), to shepherd/pastor (ποιμαίνειν) the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” 


II.    Because the work of the pastor is so important and difficult, he must meet a set of biblical qualifications – vv. 2-7

a.       The pastor must be obedient in observable behavior – vv. 2-3

                                                              i.      Above reproach – 2a

                                                            ii.      One woman man – 2b

                                                          iii.      Self-controlled / temperate – 2c

                                                          iv.      Sensible / Sober – 2d

                                                            v.      Respectable – 2e

                                                          vi.      Hospitable – 2f

                                                        vii.      An able teacher – 2g

                                                      viii.      Not addicted to wine – 3a

                                                          ix.      Not a bully – 3b

                                                            x.      Gentle – 3c

                                                          xi.      Not quarrelsome – 3d

                                                        xii.      Not a lover of money – 3e

b.      The pastor is to lead his own family well – 4 – 5

                                                              i.      Having his children under control - 4

                                                            ii.      Not perfection but patterns - 5

c.       The pastor needs experience in his Christian walk – 6

                                                              i.      New believers in leadership are susceptible to pride – 6a

                                                            ii.      Pride brings along the Devil’s condemnation – 6b

d.      The pastor needs the respect of outsiders – 7

                                                              i.      To keep him from falling into disgrace – 7a

                                                            ii.      Which would push him into devil’s trap – 7b

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