HOW DID YOU SEE GOD THIS WEEK AS YOU FOLLOWED HIM?

WHAT DID GOD SAY IN HIS WORD?

Opening Question:

Think of someone who you feel is a good leader. What characteristics do they have or how have you seen their leadership demonstrated?

In America we have developed a celebrity culture, placing incredible pressure to perform for all kinds of leaders. This is true of athletes, politicians, and it also affects pastors and leaders in the church. What should our expectation be for our church leaders?

1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. 8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

Reflect Together:

The “overseer” (the singular form is used in these verses) corresponds roughly to the senior pastor of the church today.  What character qualities is he to possess in verses 2-3?

Why is it important that he manage his household well, not be a recent convert, and have a good reputation with outsiders?

According to Acts 6:1-6, deacons were appointed to serve so that elders were freed up to give their full attention to prayer and the ministry of the word. Compare the qualifications of the overseer to deacons.

In v. 11, the Greek for the word “wives” simply means “women,” so some have interpreted the verse to refer to deaconesses or female deacons. What characteristics should the women have?

WHAT DID GOD SAY TO ME THROUGH HIS WORD?

What mistaken expectations for leaders does this passage correct for you?

What steps might God be inviting you to take when you look at the character of leaders called for in this passage?

WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO ABOUT IT?

How can we counter the celebrity culture that is promoted on social media and instead help instill these qualities in our church and in the next generation?

In light of the biblical criteria for leaders, close in prayer for spiritual protection of our leaders.