Wednesday in the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time

1 Timothy 3:4-5

Qualifications for Overseers

I’ll never forget when I was a young pastor attending an ecumenical meeting with other pastors and priests from around the area.  I can’t remember the topic of discussion but I do remember one pastor joking that his teenage son was “half-pagan.”  That a man of God would have such a son—and laugh about it on top of that—made quite an impression on me.  Oh, I know children can go wrong even when godly parents put forth their best efforts, but this man seemed quite nonchalant about the whole affair.  In short, he had no business being in the position he was in.

In 3:15, Paul calls the church the “household of God.”  In the passage before us, the Apostle is speaking of the household of the pastor, and he makes it abundantly clear that there is a relationship between the two.  Men who would pastor churches must pastor their own households; men who would be examples of godliness in churches must be such examples in their homes; men who would provide wise counsel to the brethren in their studies must provide such unto their own children; men who love the Lord’s bride must first learn to love their own bride; men who care for and spend their lives for the household of God must first learn to care for and spend their lives at the household which must be their first concern.  What does it matter if a man builds the greatest church in the world but fails to love his wife or guide his children with a firm but loving hand?  So Paul makes it clear, “If someone does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God’s church?”  And the answer is, “He can’t.”

Now we are light years away from Paul’s concern in this letter.  Paul is not talking about the massive bureaucratic machines many churches have become today—managing programs and budgets, and the red tape of legalities concerning the handling of money and employees which states continually pile on churches—a necessary evil given the mismanagement and public disgrace of some in these matters.  What Paul is discussing here is the pastor’s role in guarding the integrity of the local church through sound teaching of the word, correcting erring members of the body who are going astray, encouraging weaker brethren who need continual care, and guiding with a firm but gentle hand which keeps the church on course growing in godliness while not allowing petty disagreements and distractions to throw the church off the rails.  BUT he must have the same care for his family.  Being a pastor’s wife and child is difficult; indeed, the family itself is called.  And so he must be a pastor in his own home, and so must be every man.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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