The role of a bishop or pastor is very important in the church. Even these two words run synonymous when it comes to the person who is the leader of a specific church building. But one thing that people do not realize, are the characteristics that a person in this office must have in order to lead, preach, and teach at the pulpit. So to help you learn what these traits are we will open up to 1 Timothy, chapter 3. Paul wrote, “this is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous.” (1 Timothy 3:1-3) These are just the first few things we learn about bishops and pastors. Now, to recap, they are to be man, who is married to a woman. So women are not to serve in this ability, although you may have seen women pastors in different churches and on the radio. These are men only, of which are called to serve God in a blameless/holy fashion. They are sober and do not drink wine or alcohol. A good teacher, not a contentious one. They love to help people in need and are not greedy because of money. They are content with what they have, for they have what they need in the Lord. If this is not happening, they should step down.
Lastly, Paul said the following about every person who is serving in the bishop/pastor role. It is written that they are to be “one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” (1 Timothy 3:4-7) What you will learn here in this second part of being a bishop/pastor is what will keep them in office. These men are known for ruling well in their houses. Their children don’t easily get out of line, for they are instructed in the teachings of God. Even their ability to love their wife and their children is made known by the way their interact and treat them. Their ability to parent like this is because God’s hand is in the marriage. These types of individuals are able to lead a church. These leaders are not new to the faith but are seasoned in God’s Word. Therefore, they are humble and are known for their moral behavior, even around women. Some of these men have fallen into adultery and have been forced to step down because of this. However, God is able to lead every bishop/pastor from temptation, but they must continue to seek the Lord daily.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, thank You for the pastors in my church. I pray that You will be with Him and continue to lead Him by the hand. His desire to have this calling in the church is very nice to see in this generation. Where there is so much sin that abounds, it is nice to know that these men are out there instructing us on how to live a life that pleases You and not the world. So often our flesh takes control of our lives, while leading us to do things that we know are wrong. This leads people to justify their actions, while they continue to look at pornography, masturbate, have affairs, and get drunk with alcohol. People of the church do these things and it is awesome to hear sermons that teach against these sins, while leading them to repent. To call upon You, Lord Jesus, that they may be forgiven. Only through You, can people be washed and be made clean. Even given a new heart with new desires, which helps them live different lives. Pastors and bishops that are teaching this way are doing Your will. They are Your servants and are leading Your flock the way You would. Thank You for these men. May they continue to seek You daily. That they may also not fall victim to the temptations of the devil. For we know that after we have fallen into sin it is so difficult to share the gospel, let alone give a sermon in church. So I pray for my church pastors and elders. Give them wisdom and strength to overcome temptation. I love You, Lord. Fill me up also with Your wisdom and strength. Amen.