“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 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?” (1 Tim 3:1-7)
While reading this pericope, you may think that this imperative does not apply to you because you are not an overseer (elder, bishop, pastor, etc.). It is true that most of us are not called nor qualified for eldership within the church, but that does not negate our responsibility to seek the highest moral character and lead accordingly in our own spheres. Our moral compass must always be pointed to the concrete truth of God’s word if we are to be effective leaders. The Scriptures provide “True North” throughout the canon with the character traits wonderfully encapsulated in this passage.
This list written by Paul to Timothy reveals the qualifications for elders as a litmus test to see if they are fit for this office. For the rest of us, we should use this list for introspection to see if we are leading in a sanctified manner with godly character. Are we leading above reproach, soberly, with purity, with self-control, respectably, hospitably, by teaching others, with gentleness and without greed? As Christian leaders, let us embrace these attributes of elders in our own lives and seek to live (and lead) holy as He is holy (1 Pet 1:15).
-Soli Deo Gloria