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Join Awaken Church as we read the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs in 2020. Download the #AwakenBible2020 plan at awaken.church/bible2020.

Each week I share a thought from the previous week’s reading here.

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Following the leader is as classic as tag and hide-and-go-seek. You do what the leader does, no matter how crazy it seems. It’s that simple. 

In the church, the principle is similar. God holds spiritual leaders to a high standard because He wants you to follow the leaders. 

1 Timothy 3 is a great example. Paul, writing to Timothy about how the church should function, lists 14 qualifications for pastors. But… they’re not listed in order to put pastors on a pedestal; they’re written as a pattern. There are a few exceptions: the gift of teaching isn’t given to everyone, but is required for pastors. Also, pastors are not to be new Christians – there should be time for them to prove their faith and maturity before being elevated to a position of authority. Those are the only exceptions. The other twelve apply to all Christians.

Our goal in looking at the lives of our pastors and spiritual leaders is not to stand back and be amazed at their lives, but to follow them as they follow Jesus.

With that in mind, when 1 Timothy 3:2 says, “An overseer should be…,” it would also be accurate to say, “A Christian should be…”

Below I’ve included a list of the 12 qualifications that are required for pastors as a pattern for the rest of the church. I’ve also included additional Scriptures so you can review other places in the New Testament where those qualifications are given to the church, not just its leaders.

“above reproach”

Philippians 2:15, 1 Peter 2:15

“the husband of one wife”

Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 7:3

“sober-minded”

1 Peter 4:7

“self-controlled”

Titus 2:2, 5

“respectable”

Philippians 2:3

“hospitable”

Romans 12:13

“not a drunkard”

Ephesians 5:18

“not violent but gentle”

Ephesians 4:1–3

“not quarrelsome”

Philippians 2:3–4

“not a lover of money”

1 Timothy 6:17

“He must manage his own household well”

Ephesians 6:4

“he must be well thought of by outsiders”

Colossians 4:5