1 Timothy 3:4-7

In 1 Timothy 3:4-7 Paul continues his list of requirements to be a spiritual leader in the church. “He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.” He gives us more commentary on what these three items mean.

Continuing the list we started yesterday, this person must:

  1. Manage his own household well
  2. Not be a recent convert
  3. Be well thought of by outsiders

A godly spiritual leader demonstrates leadership first at home. That’s where we get the most true picture of what kind of leader an individual is. So if there are issues at home with leading the family, they will likely be repeated in the church. Paul specifically calls out a need to be able to manage their children. There is no question that a child may rebel from even a good home with strong parenting and solid spiritual leadership.  The question that must be raised is whether the rebellion or misbehavior is happening because of the parents or in spite of their good job as parents? It’s not an easy question to answer, but is quite telling for the church to understand.

Paul doesn’t want new converts put into positions of leadership too quickly. They need to have some time and show solid spiritual development. They need to have deep roots and a strong faith in Christ, with the spiritual disciplines being lived out on a consistent basis. Giving a new believer leadership too early can lead to the sin of pride as Satan would love to knock them out of the role.  Paul ends his list for those who will lead in the church by saying they need to have a good witness in the community and live a life that demonstrates God’s characteristics that all can readily see. The testimony of a potential leader, not only in word but also in how they live, must be strong to qualify them for leadership.

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