Thursday, February 09, 2006

Qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1

My pastoral ministry class is discussing the list of qualifications for pastors in these passages. Many important observations can and need to be made from these passages, but we have focused a bit so far on the big picture. Here is a particularly well-put comment from one of the students:
“The qualifications of an overseer don’t seem to be all that exciting. Most would think that a pastor would have to be someone who is an incredible leader or a charismatic spokesperson, but the qualifications that Paul gives are rather simple, quiet traits that will probably go unnoticed in daily life. A pastor is to live a life that resonates with quiet holiness.”
Amen! Of course this is a general picture- rebuking error (Titus 1:9) is not exactly quiet and the purity described sometimes is particularly noticeable in society. But in general, in our loud, flashy world where we encouraged to ‘make ourselves known,’ this description stands in marked contrast. Sadly it stands in marked contrast to much of what is urged upon pastors in conferences and books where we are encouraged to be more ‘dynamic’ which often means flashy and self-promoting. The picture which emerges here is much less presumptuous, very down to earth and, in a very good way, common. Let us lay aside the desires to be ‘amazing’ and simply walk among our people in holiness ministering the word of God in word and deed. The media will not notice, but God will bless.


Steve Burchett said...

"Let us lay aside the desires to be ‘amazing’ and simply walk among our people in holiness ministering the word of God in word and deed."

Amen. Great words, brother. Thanks for the reminder of God's qualifications. By God's grace, I can fulfill those qualifications, But I will never be able to fuflill the qualifications (expectations!) of this day and age, yet I still try! What futility, bondage, and a waste of time (mine and others).

julie said...

perhaps thats a good idea for everyone, and not just pastors.[?] the desire to be amazing is very prevelant in the academic setting, and, well, actually, all over the place. and its hard to forget about it--because we want to do something amazing, and change the world and all of that. but: its better to be pale without skin cancer, than tan and "pretty" now, and die from cancer later. thats what my mother always tells me, anyway.

Ray Van Neste said...

Good point Julie. Too often we think 'making a difference' means too much. We can pursue excellence in the path of normal life, doing our best without having to be the 'best ever.' It really is very focused on ourselves isnt it? And significantly tied to our abilities rather than God's.