Sermon Titled “Biblical Leadership: God’s Order For His Church” (1 Timothy 3:1-7) – Sunday 19th January, 2014
In the final of our three part series on Being the Church, Pastor Reimer devoted much of last weekend’s sermon to recognizing our newly appointed deacons, and explaining why their roles in the church matter.
One of the things we must first understand about deacons, is that most are called into ministry. 1 Timothy 3:1 says, regarding Overseers and Deacons, “If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.” In other words, he is not seeking a leadership role so that he can achieve power and status, but he desires instead a role of servitude. And since we know that we do not “naturally” gravitate towards a life of serving, we can only assume that it is by God’s leading that a man would feel compelled to pursue such a lifestyle.
The following is a list of qualifications specified for any man who wishes to be ordained by the church as an elder, overseer, or deacon, and as you will see, all of these but one (“able to teach”), are character traits. Such a man should be:
- able to teach
- not given to drunkenness (the bible does not say that he must fully abstain from alcohol, but he must certainly not over-indulge)
- not violent but gentle (yet firm, when necessary)
- not quarrelsome
- not a lover of money (not consumed by thoughts of money and physical possessions)
- a good manager of his own family (if he cannot manage his family then he certainly cannot take care of God’s church)
- not be a recent convert (a new Christian may be more inclined to teach false doctrine)
- have a good reputation with people outside the church (not just within the church)
The reason I pointed out that all of the above requirements focus on the character of a man versus what he is capable of doing, is that it’s important to note that men in church leadership are appointed to their roles because the church takes stock in who they are (i.e. good, upstanding men), not what they do (i.e. their gifts, abilities, etc.).
It is the character of these men that will determine how effective the church is. It’s been said, after all, that a church is only as godly as it’s leaders. If the leadership fails to set a good example by acting in ways that contradict the character qualifications listed above, then the church will likely follow suit. Or fall apart.
We believe that the men leading us at Koza Baptist Church are serving us not out of obligation, but by the calling of God, and we trust that their leadership will cause us to BE an effective church, committed to becoming followers of Christ on mission with God.