Heard a sad story the other day of how a church split and went to court over who got the church building because an Elder got mad over a boy had gotten a bigger piece of ham at a potluck than he did. Sounds silly, but these issues crop up every day in the church. That is not what Paul intended when he wrote the qualifications of an elder. He was looking for those who desire to do the hard work.
“It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.”
The role that Paul is talking about here is an Elder. The Greek word used here is “episkopos,” which can be used as Elder, Pastor, or Shepherd. It is a person who is one of the overseers, or leaders, or the church. It denotes authority and means that the person has the role of responsibility in the church. The person who aspires to this office desires a good thing.
As you read on in 1 Timothy 3, you will read about the qualifications for an overseer. They are to be above reproach, which means not to have any charges against him, married to one woman, self-controlled, and a good reputation. To be honest, that would disqualify most men in the church. (I know some churches and denominations ordain women elders, but I’m not going to get into that here.) The issue is one of integrity. Most men in the church don’t desire to live a Godly life. That is leaving the church devoid of Godly leadership and examples for the young men to follow.
Desire to Do the Hard Work
If you desire to be an Elder in your church, I want to encourage you to go for it. Commit 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 to heart so that you know the qualifications. Don’t live to meet these requirements, instead live to glorify Jesus and grow closer to Him, and these will become evident to others. The church desperately needs people who aspire to these roles and meet the qualifications.