Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
“Let’s elect him to serve as deacon, maybe he’ll start coming to church with his family.”
“We need to fill this empty slot with a warm body, at least.”
“If no one else will do it, I guess I will.”
“Our budget needs help, let’s elect Dave, he is wealthy. Maybe he’ll start tithing and solve our deficits.”
“Let’s choose her, then maybe she will not be so mouthy about how to do things around here.”
Over the years, I have actually heard these and other unbiblical statements made in various board meetings. How these statements must break the heart of God! This method of choosing leaders AND servants is not what is acceptable or in the will of God according to His Word. Paul teaches us how to choose leaders and servants who walk worthy and serve well.
1 Timothy 3, The Message
1-7 If anyone wants to provide leadership in the church, good! But there are preconditions: A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife, cool and collected, accessible, and hospitable. He must know what he’s talking about, not be overfond of wine, not pushy but gentle, not thin-skinned, not money-hungry. He must handle his own affairs well, attentive to his own children and having their respect. For if someone is unable to handle his own affairs, how can he take care of God’s church? He must not be a new believer, lest the position go to his head and the Devil trip him up. Outsiders must think well of him, or else the Devil will figure out a way to lure him into his trap.
8-13 The same goes for those who want to be servants in the church: serious, not deceitful, not too free with the bottle, not in it for what they can get out of it. They must be reverent before the mystery of the faith, not using their position to try to run things. Let them prove themselves first. If they show they can do it, take them on. No exceptions are to be made for women—same qualifications: serious, dependable, not sharp-tongued, not overfond of wine. Servants in the church are to be committed to their spouses, attentive to their own children, and diligent in looking after their own affairs. Those who do this servant work will come to be highly respected, a real credit to this Jesus-faith.
14-16 I hope to visit you soon, but just in case I’m delayed, I’m writing this letter so you’ll know how things ought to go in God’s household, this God-alive church, bastion of truth. This Christian life is a great mystery, far exceeding our understanding, but some things are clear enough:
He appeared in a human body,
was proved right by the invisible Spirit,
was seen by angels.
He was proclaimed among all kinds of peoples,
believed in all over the world,
taken up into heavenly glory.
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #3
–We refer back to #1 and #2. Remember #1? Jesus saves. We do not save people by putting them in charge of anything. That is not fair to them who will be frustrated for serving while still getting to know God. #2 is the rule of thumb for all decisions…Pray FIRST! Ask God for wisdom, insight and understanding for what HE wants for HIS church.
–Choose those who are walking worthy right now, at this moment, fully devoted to God and His will.
Servant Leadership Characteristics
–Well thought of in the community. Integrity. Does what is right even when no one but God is looking.
–Committed to spouse and family.
–“Cool and collected, accessible, and hospitable.” Open door to his/her life with welcoming arms of love.
–Knows God. Knows God’s Message.
–Does not get drunk in social settings or anywhere else.
–Doesn’t push but gently works with others as a humble team member wanting others to know and follow Christ as the Head of the group.
–Handles life well. Loves their family in the most excellent way…with love and respect.
–Is not a new believer. Has been proven to walk worthy for a while without being pulled away by temptations to do other than what God wants.
–Loves God with heart, mind, body and soul. Loves others in the same way God loves.
There is a debate about letting people serve who have yet to accept Christ as Savior and Lord. If you ask Paul, the answer would be probably be no according to the “list” of requirements. In Paul’s day, infant churches were facing persecution by the government. Strong believers were need to serve and lead well. “Let them prove themselves first”, says Paul. Could this statement be for the protection of those still seeking and are very vulnerable? Could the new and still seeking be hurt by church people who think they are solid and committed but underneath are immature and anxious? Mm. We need to think about this seriously. For sure, every person who seeks to serve and lead needs a mentor. Every person who serves needs to be a mentor. We all need each other to stay strong. Every. One.
Lord, help us.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We ask for your wisdom, insight and understanding to develop the your kind of thinking and doing to live this life well…in the most excellent way…with unconditional love. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for help us to love well. Thank you for inviting us to your work. Equip us to BE first then do what you ask, readily and without hesitation. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen