In our first sermon on Deacons, we learnt that they take care of material needs or administrative work in the church. There has been sufficient focus on men leaders and their character qualities. In this passage, we learn about female deacons serving in the church, and the kind of character qualities they need to exhibit.
There are many practical aspects of church ministry like finances, hospitality, venue set up, event organisation, church retreats etc. Teaching elders and ruling elders may not have the bandwidth to look into these matters as they’re primarily called to disciple people, to counsel, to encourage and pray with the congregation at every stage of life. So this is where the bible brings deacons into the picture to handle administrative tasks in order to make the elders’ work easier. In this passage we learn about deacons and what character qualities they ought to have.
Religious leaders often seem very kind in public, but get aggressive and violent when someone opposes them. Sometimes Pastors even beat up their wives and do not respect them in private. There are other leaders in the church, who serve people because of money. Some leaders are good with people in public but poor in managing their own household, their children don’t listen to them and are extremely rebellious. As a father and husband, they’re very passive about family matters, and the list goes on and on. But the Apostle Paul has a response against all these bad character qualities of a leader in this passage.
When the Apostle Paul writes down the character qualities of an elder in 1 Timothy, he lists out many virtues that display Christ-like character. And for the leaders in the church, there are some mandatory character qualities that Paul suggests cannot be compromised. In this 2nd part of learning about elder qualities, we learn how ability to teach, being hospitable and not being consumed by alcohol marks out a faithful, stable and a mature leader in the church.
We have a lot of poor examples of leaders around us, who make big promises but don’t fulfill them. Hypocrisy is so evident in their lives. Many leaders have fallen into sexual immorality, financial mismanagement, abuse of authority in the church etc. Recognizing a man of character has become a difficult task these days. How do we discern the character qualities of an Elder who is not perfect but acceptable in the eyes of God and people? Listen to the sermon to find out.
A person’s wage is often calculated based on how valuable and resourceful the labor is. But when it comes to pastoral ministry, not much attention has been given to the pastor’s labor. This passage gives adequate reasons on why we should be supporting the laborers of the gospel who honor Christ and serve His sheep faithfully.