Qualifications for overseers
Topic: Discipleship Scripture: 1 Timothy 3:1–3:7
Discipleship in the church
Qualifications for overseers-outline
1 Timothy 3:1-7
A church overseer must be above reproach and able to teach
1) The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task, 3:1.
In Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5-7, and 1 Peter 5:1-5, the terms overseer/oversight, elder and shepherd (pastor) are used interchangeably. So an overseer is an elder is a shepherd/pastor. In light of the false teachers that were impacting the church, why did Paul remind Timothy of the need for “overseers”? Why is being an “overseer”/elder a noble task for a man to aspire to? Why don’t more men aspire to being an elder?
2) Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3:2.
What does it mean and what doesn’t it mean to be above reproach”? Most of the requirements for elder are character-based, rather than skill or function. What is the significance of this?
The husband of one wife can be translated “a one woman man.” What does this requirement mean? Why are the other qualities mentioned important? Being able to teach is the one requirement that is a skill or function out of the other qualities listed. What are various ways elders can teach God’s word? See Titus 1:9. What is the basis for the elders’ authority to lead?
3) not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, 3:3.
In what ways are these qualities necessary to be elder?
4) 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? 3:4-5.
Why does Paul relate caring for the church to how he manages his household?
5) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil, 3:6.
Why might a recent convert become conceited and proud if appointed too soon?
6) Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil, 3:7.
How does the requirement to be well thought of by those outside the church relate to being above reproach? How might he fall into the snare of the devil if he doesn’t meet this rule?