An Expositional Sermon
1 Timothy 3:4-7
“The Marks of a Pastor, Part 2”
Theme/Big Idea: Local church overseers lives must exhibit marks both for the protection of the church and it’s witness, but also for their own spiritual protection
Aim/Appropriation/Application: Pursue to grow in these marks as God bears these marks in the lives of His people by His Spirit, and pray with us that the Lord would give us more men who would be qualified to oversee our church.
(1) Family Life (1 Timothy 3:4-5)
A. Mark #13: Manage household well (1 Timothy 3:4)
B. Mark #14: Submissive Children (1 Timothy 3:4)
(2) Not a Recent Convert (1 Timothy 3:6)
A. Mark #15: Not a Recent Convert (1 Timothy 3:6)
B. Warning #1: The Devil’s Condemnation (1 Timothy 3:6)
(3) Well Thought of by Outsiders (1 Timothy 3:7)
A. Mark #16: Well Thought of by Outsiders (1 Timothy 3:7)
B. Warning #2: Disgrace and the Devil’s snare (1 Timothy 3:7)
Questions for Further Reflection
(1) Will you commit to pray that God would grow each of us in these areas, and that God would protect brothers who would serve us as overseer-elder-pastors in our church in this way?
(2) Mark #13 – Manage Household Well: Does his leadership have a gentleness to it and a patience that is a reflection of the long suffering and patience that God has toward us in Christ? How does this overseer candidate die to himself for the benefit of his family? How does he sacrifice himself so that his wife and kids might grow in Jesus Christ? How does he win the hearts and minister to the well-being of his family? How does he think about his family budget? How does he think about the family schedule? Is gathering his biological family with his spiritual family, the church, a priority? Is he a man who creates margin in his schedule to care gently for the hearts of those under his care? How does he think about washing his wife in the Word? How does he disciple his kids? Does he ever read the Bible with his family? Does he ever pray with them? Is he interested in his kids’ hearts or does he just outsource that to his wife, and does he help shepherd their desires toward more wise and fruitful endeavors? Does he let sports, the arts, and or friend’s schedules dictate the family schedule? Even if the kids melt down and distract is he laboring to get his kids to the regular gathering of the church? Under normal health and normal circumstances does the overseer candidate prioritize the gathering of the church in the way that he manages his household well Church? Does he let the culture master his home? Does he have more interest in sports statistics than playing with his kids, and working on communication with his wife? Is he humble? A good question to ask an overseer candidate’s family is, “when was the last time that your husband or dad apologized and asked for forgiveness for something?” If no one can remember the fruit of repentance from sin in the context of his closest relationships it ought to give us pause. Again, we aren’t looking for a “perfect” and “sinless” man. That doesn’t exist apart from Christ, but is his growth in Christ in this area what Paul describes in Philippians 1:27, “[a] manner of life…worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Is this a man worthy of imitating insomuch as he imitates Jesus Christ? (1 Cor. 11:1; cf. 4:6)
(3) Mark #14 – Submissive Children: Does he lead his kids in such a way that they submit to him? Is his only gauge of submission outward obedience? We know from our own walk with the Lord that submission is about much more than outward appearances? Does he consider corporal discipline the “end game” so that outward behavior is achieved, or is he concerned with the heart of his kids? Does the overseer candidate’s discipline and love in his family stoke up the hearts of his kids to love him? This doesn’t mean that a father never disciplines his kids, but is his discipline working against the heart work he is pursuing in the lives of his kids? Is his approach to discipline provoking and exasperating his kids? This is important because the way he disciplines his children helps us to understand how he will think about “behavior” and “hearts” of those he is to manage in the context of God’s church.
(4) Mark #15 – Not a Recent Convert: Does his life look the same everywhere that he is? Does the church see one thing, the family another, his neighbors another, and his co-workers yet another?
(6) Mark #16 – Well Thought of by Outsiders: What does the local community think of this guy? Has he been arrested? How does he treat his neighbors? How do his neighbors describe how he treats his family?