READ: 1 Timothy 3:7
- Few churches check references with those outside the church when selecting elders. Yet Paul emphasizes this particular action. Verse 1-6 are one sentence that begins with “must.” Verse 7 is the second sentence in the paragraph and it too begins with “must.” In other words, neither the basic character traits nor the reputation among unbelievers are optional components of serving as an elder.
- If a man is unable to maintain his witness among outsiders, he will be of little value as a leader in the church. Such failures to be consistent in his life would give Satan all the ammunition he needs to embarrass both the elder and the church. Faithfulness is a deeply needed quality for personal perseverance and for leading a church under duress from culture’s attacks.
- Those who lead in churches carry a heavy weight of responsibility. They must not only govern their own lives, they must lead their families well. And, in like fashion, they must lead the congregation to faithful living in a hostile environment. Not just anyone can fulfill these demands. It takes a man who aspires to such character to actually get to the place he’s qualified to serve.
- Who do you know that fits these qualities and has a great reputation among the unchurched?
- What steps would you need to take to become such a person?
- Why do you think having a bad reputation among outsiders matters so much?
PRAY: Thank God for the quality men we have as elders. Pray that more men will aspire to such character. Ask God to continue raising up good leaders here.