Wednesday 15 February 2012

Bible Book:
1 Timothy

"The saying is sure: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task." (v. 1)

1 Timothy 3:1-16 Wednesday 15 February 2012


Depending upon your chosen translation, Paul is talking aboutthose called to be a bishop, overseer, elder or church leader.Probably the one that has more resonance in the New Testament is'elder', as Paul and Barnabas appointed elders in all the churchesthey founded (Acts 14:23), but the job descriptions arebroadly similar. These are people beyond reproach, worthy ofrespect and with a mature faith.

There are sound reasons for Paul emphasising the care that must betaken in choosing leaders, and these relate to the function of theChurch.

In verse 15 Paul uses four words to describe the Church:

  • It is God's household (or family), and within itthere must be an overriding sense of love and respect.
  • Paul goes on to call it the church of the livingGod(ekklesia). The word used literally means people who have beencalled out. So the Church, says Paul, comprises those whom God hascalled and who have responded.
  • The Church is also the pillar ... of the truth. In Ephesusthe people would know all about the beauty and impact of pillars.The Temple to Diana, one of the seven wonders of the world,contained 127 marble pillars overlaid with gold and preciousstones, which must have sparkled in the sunlight. So the truth mustbe proudly upheld and clearly seen by all people.
  • Lastly, the Church is the foundation or bulwark of thetruth. The world may not like to acknowledge or face up to it, butthe responsibility of the Church is to remind people of theimportance of the truth it proclaims. That is why a leader must besomeone who can be looked up to not only from within the Church,but also from outside, as a person of trust and faith from whoselife the light of Christ shines through.



To Ponder

Should we take more care when we choose leaders?When you are voting in a parliamentary election do you simply giveyour vote to the party you've always supported, or look atcandidates individually and vote according to their personalqualities?

The Church invests a lot of time and care inprayerfully considering those who feel a call to ordained ministry.Within your own church do you feel that positions of responsibilitysuch as secretary or treasurer are given enough consideration? Andwhat about callings beyond the Church?

Paul had no doubt as to the importance andresponsibilities of Church leadership. Does your congregationuphold its leaders in prayer often enough? And how do you and yourchurch encourage them in their work both through kind words and anoffering of time and resources?

Previous Page Tuesday 14 February 2012
Next Page Thursday 16 February 2012