Fitness for Christian Leadership 1Ti 3:1-7
One of Timothy’s most urgent duties was to take care that those who held office in the churches were beyond reproach. The tone of a Christian community is largely that of its leaders. As the margin suggests, the bishop of the early Church was an overseer or presbyter. See Act 20:28 , r.v. God’s minister must not only be irreproachable as far as the outside world is concerned, but exemplary in his domestic relations. Such was the facility of divorce among the Jews that it was a common thing for a man to have more than one woman living who had been his wife: but by Paul’s ruling this would debar him from holding office, unless his divorce be for cause as provided in Mat 19:9 .
Notice how often those words grave, sober-minded, temperate occur in this chapter. The effect of a good sermon will be spoiled if a man yields to foolish levity or intemperate habits. Moderation, serenity of temper, freedom from love of money, a well-ordered household, an obedient and reverent family-these are signs that a man may aspire to the sacred work of the ministry; and these are the qualities which people should look for in candidates for pulpits, more than those of rhetoric, brilliance, or outward attractiveness.