by Harley Howard

This content is part of a series.

Qualifications of a Sound Pastor
Dr. Harley Howard
I Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1

This lesson is designed to reveal clearly that the Lord is not silent on the issue of the caliber of men He wants to oversee His people. The two clearest passages in scripture are First Timothy chapter three and Titus chapter one. We will examine both of these chapters.

- First Timothy 3:1-7

- 1 This [is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

Continuing his instructions on how the church should conduct itself, Paul turned to the crucial matter of leadership qualifications. He wanted to encourage respect for the congregation's leaders, so he cited what was apparently a familiar maxim and commended it as a sound one. Two implications emerge: (1) It is valid to aspire to church leadership, and (2) church leadership is a noble task.

The term overseer (episkopos), sometimes translated "bishop," is only one of several words used in the New Testament to describe church leaders. "Elders" (presbyteroi) is by far the most common. Other terms such as "rulers" (proistamenoi, Romans 12:8, 1st Thessalonians 5:12), "leaders" (Hebrews 13:17) and "pastors" (poimenas, Ephesians 4:11; Acts 20:28; 1st Peter 5:2) are also used. Though each of these terms may describe a different facet of leadership, they all seem to be used interchangeably in the New Testament to designate the same office. This office is different from that of deacons (1st Timothy 3:8).

The first quality of sound leadership (Pastoral in this case) is that he must have an obvious desire, love, and longing for ministry in his life. Don't be deceived by many who say they are called into the ministry! I believe that a genuine man of God is one who is called and qualified to enter into that office. It is important to note that if God wants these kinds of men to fulfill this high calling, then these are the men that the church should be looking for. The pastorate is a good work for an ...

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