Leaders and Servants

In The Word

Read: 1 Timothy 3:1-14


Overseers and Deacons

It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long;

New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Walking In The Word


In today’s reading, Paul listed the qualifications for two important church roles: overseer and deacon. An overseer is a leader that watches over the people, such as an elder, presbyter, bishop, pastor, or church leader. A deacon is one who serves in the church with the overseer’s guidance to take care of both tasks and people. Both roles are noble and crucial to the proper working of the local church that God established, which is why Paul thoroughly detailed the qualifications that are similar for both roles. The qualifications deal with a person’s personal life, their home life with marriage and children, and their public life using God’s biblical standards. The leader or servant cannot be one thing at home and something else at church.

The guidelines ensured that anyone being considered for a church role met certain criteria, knowing the importance of having a godly person fill the role. However, the strict standards did not mean that there was a distinct lifestyle reserved only for those in a leadership or serving position. Rather, since the leaders and servants would be seen at church and in public, they were to be an example of Jesus for all people to follow.

As a Christian, you should be actively involved in the local church by serving with your time and abilities. This service should be done with seriousness knowing that you represent Jesus and the church to the world, thus your life needs to reflect Jesus by living a life that matches God’s biblical standard.

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