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Biblical Leadership

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On Tuesday December 2nd 1941 radar had picked up Japanese recon aircraft flying over Manila and several American Air strips throughout the Philippines. December 3rd more of the same was reported to Douglas MacArthur. He had been told from the War department on November 24th that a surprise and aggressive attack maybe imminent across American holdings and ships throughout the Pacific.
When the recon was verifying that the aircraft had appeared he knew what to do next. He began the waiting game. He withdrew to his work room everyone knew what was coming. At 3:00 AM December 7th the phones starting ringing at the same time the last of the Japanese fighter craft were leaving Pearl Harbor. The war had begun.
MacArthur had set out to turn the Philippines into a Switzerland of the south Pacific and now all his preparation would be put to the test. December 8th everyone turn to him. What should we do with the Army air force, what to do with the ships, is their anyway to keep the Philippines Neutral in the conflict. War came, MacArthur sent his men to hit first before they received the war. It ended with nearly all the air fleet destroyed and he and his men on the back foot.
He was Ordered to withdraw from Washington in order to protect Australia, New Zealand and other Western Territories. And So He told the reporters that he "shall return." That statement caught fire amongst the Americans back home, but also amongst the Filipino people and gave them a resolve to fight on.
MacArthur kept his word. On October 20th 1944 American and Allied troops landed on the island Leyte and began the process of Liberating the Philippines of Japanese control.
He would radio address the nation saying he has returned by the very grace of Almighty God, and that he and the forces of freedom were there to reestablish freedom and liberty once again.
He would go on to lead the occupation of Japan and sign the peace treaty on behalf of the united nations with Japan.


Everything rises and falls with leadership, the church is no different. Our King Christ has all power and authority given to him (insert verse) and so we have been given a task to do on earth. We're to evangelize and disciple, and to really conquer the hearts of men and women and therefore the world in Christ. So we must study the bible and one of the avenues of a true church is leadership in the church.
What is a pastor? A Bishop? A Elder? A deacon? What do they do? What are you to do? What does the Bible say? What does our Culture say about leadership?

Our Culture

Generally American culture is distrustful of authority. It must be earned and then it must be well kept. Some distrust is good but we're very independent people. America was born in a regional independence struggle stoked on by the law breaking actions of the national government. We were settled by several different groups of peoples from the British Isles each had it own issues with authority. The puritans in New England had to leave to establish their Christian states because the church of England was offensive to them. The Scotts-Irish people were basically ungovernable in a traditional sense, after centuries of constant mistreatment and so the British kicked them over to the new World and they settled the Appalachians. The rest of the Southern folk had come from nobility who had a sense of Honor but also a suspicion of those that would impose on it.
Depending on your back ground if you're from the Northeast or Midwest your family has experience one revolution, the South two, and Texas three! So we as a people are very distrustful of government. Our famous stories are of people making their own way, a cowboy in the wild west, Astronauts on the moon and so on. I would argue that the mis-trust in authority is at a all-time high in our culture right now and so it's tough to lead. Following the pandemic many people don't know who or what to trust, and if your of a more left leaning persuasion your told you can't trust, Christians, White people, and especially men!
So leadership is a mess! Yet God still has answers as to what leadership should look like here in the church so let's look at what the scripture has to say.

Defining Terms from Scripture

Break down the text

1 Timothy 3:1–13 (ESV)

Qualifications for Overseers
3 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

So the words, Bishop, pastor, and presbyter are used interchangeably in this text. So as a Baptist and an Evangelical these titles are interchangeable. Some church government systems have bishops up the hierarchy but that comes out of tradition not out of scripture. Methodists, Catholics, Orthodox and so on do this.

v1)It's called by Paul a noble task - it carries the wait of being praise worthy. So built into that is being worthy of such a good and noble task.
V2) Above reproach this word is only used in 1 Timothy in the whole Bible. This means you should have a great reputation both inside and outside the body of Christ. The word itself is related to being grabbed. So the idea is that your reputation as a pastor shouldn't be something that Satan or the world could grab onto and drag through the mud
V2) Husband of one wife. - No shocker here only men can be pastors. Only men can be fathers. Only men can be men. If you get this wrong your church will compromise. You throughout the clear teaching of God's word you might as well throw out everything. God has created order in the universe, he has created hierarchies to manage and run things. It is God's fatherly will that men should lead. The war on the patriarchy is just a war on God's created order. I'm not saying women are inferior, neither is the text, but it is establishing an order for us to live by. If a church has women pastors they are living in 2 lies it's not a church and they can't be pastors. They also have a lessor value on women and men one defined by our culture that considers us interchangeable cogs with different bits. We simply are not. Reject the Marxist view embrace the Christian one.
Be a man, be a women. Maybe you’re a man who hunts, fishes, builds, good! Maybe you’re a greater thinker and enjoyer of ideas good. As a women maybe you’re a tomboy Good! Maybe your more like a real femine women good! God made you that way relish in it.
God made the office of the pastor for men! It's pastor apprieaction month call the men out there who have pastored in youth life send them a card. They do a noble thing.
V2) One wife also means not given to sexual immorality. Implications of not polygamous, doesn't prohibit single men from serving
V2)Sober-minded - temperate. The Gr. word lit. means “wineless,” but is here used metaphorically to mean “alert,” “watchful,” “vigilant,” or “clear-headed.” Elders must be able to think clearly. sober-minded. A “sober-minded” man is disciplined, knows how to properly order his priorities, and is serious about spiritual matters.
MacArthur, John, Jr., ed. 1997. The MacArthur Study Bible. Electronic ed. Nashville, TN: Word Pub.
V2) Self ControlledIn addition, elders are to be “self-controlled.” The Greek term is sōphrona, meaning “being in control of oneself, prudent, thoughtful” (BDAG, italics original). This refers to one who is controlled not by his passions, lusts, or idolatries but by the Spirit. The term can have the nuance of sexual decency as well.28
Burk, Denny. 2018. “1 Timothy.” In Ephesians–Philemon, edited by Iain M. Duguid, James M. Hamilton Jr., and Jay Sklar, XI:405. ESV Expository Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
I was listening to some Manhood podcasts this week and my goodness do we have this wrong as men in our culture. Men are told to be womenizing, pleasure seekers. When the ancient Christians showed up they told just the opposite. This were men under control ready for battle at a moment's notice.
When the linemen were repairing the wires and re-hooking us back up. We the foreman yelled to stop they stopped dead. Without self-control that lineman could have been dead. A pastor must have control over his body and mind. Submitted to Christ, not given to lusts and passions but whole controlling himself.
- This is true of all of us. Take responsibility for your actions control them the Holy Spirit of God will help you.
A Pastor must be self controlled we've got the gospel to apply, we've got souls to attend to, we've got the word to study. Time is always moving forward. That's were deacons come in but will get to them.
V2) Respectable/ orderly - only used twice in the NT
The qualification of being “respectable” denotes “qualities that evoke admiration or delight” (BDAG, s.v. κόσμιος). These qualities are able to produce such an effect because they refer to a “person’s outward deportment.”29
V2) Welcoming Hospitable - That an elder is to be “hospitable” means that an overseer’s home is open to care for the needs of others. It is not closed off to those who need material help.
Burk, Denny. 2018. “1 Timothy.” In Ephesians–Philemon, edited by Iain M. Duguid, James M. Hamilton Jr., and Jay Sklar, XI:406. ESV Expository Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
V2) Able to Teach
To mention the teaching competency of the overseer (elder) is important given the problem at Ephesus (5:17). Titus 1:9 indicates that elders’ firm grasp of God’s Word will enable them both to teach it and to refute errors that contradict it. Since this ability is not repeated in the qualifications for deacons, it seems that teaching the Word is one function that sets the overseer’s task apart from the deacon’s.
Sproul, R. C., ed. 2015. The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust.
V3) Really expands into specifics given before
Not a Drunkard - is being specific with the self-control - This isn't in this situation prohibiting Alcohol but it is saying don't be a drunkard, we must not look like the world. Remember it took a lot of drinking even by today's standards to get drunk back then. Alcohol was the only way to make sure the water you were drinking was safe from disease.
A “striker” (v. 3) is one who uses physical force to get people to agree with him, and we know that “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20, NKJV).
The pastor must not be money-hungry; he must have patience toward the sheep;
he must not be contentious (a brawler, given to arguing); and he must be free from covetousness, putting Christ and the church first in his life.
Wiersbe, Warren W. 1992. Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
V4/5) This is a big one. If the pastors home life is mess he needs to step out of ministry to get it in order. I'm aware of a pastor who came to his flock because he and his wife were having issues and he stepped down.
Now this doesn't mean that my kids will be perfect or my house always clean it means that you know that the pastor takes his duties as a husband and father seriously because it is God's command on him to do so. It is the command of all men. My children while partakers in the blessing of God through their mother and I are not yet believers. Sarah has some ideas but I don't believe it is saving yet. But a pastor is to love them and lead them as if to Christ.

Let's look at an example from Scripture of a bad leader

In 1 Samuel we learn of Eli and Samuel. Eli was a judge over Israel like Samson and Boaz were and he was a terrible judge. He was the man who trained Samuel the last judge over Israel.
Eli had failed as a leaders look at what the Bible says

The Failure of Eli

1 Samuel 1:12–18 (ESV)

12 As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. 14 And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” 15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD. 16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” 17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” 18 And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
So he couldn't tell that God was moving Hannah to pray, he thought her drunk! He already was failing in part of the command

1 Samuel 2:12–21 (ESV)

Eli’s Worthless Sons
12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD. 13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14 and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw.” 16 And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force.” 17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the LORD, for the men treated the offering of the LORD with contempt.
18 Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy clothed with a linen ephod. 19 And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the LORD give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the LORD.” So then they would return to their home.
21 Indeed the LORD visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the LORD.
So he failed as a father. His Sons were awful Contrasted with Samuel

1 Samuel 2:22–26 (ESV)

Eli Rebukes His Sons
22 Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. 24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad. 25 If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the LORD to put them to death.
26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and also with man.
It just gets worse his reputation made his sons ignore him

1 Samuel 3:10–14 (ESV)

10 And the LORD came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” 11 Then the LORD said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12 On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. 14 Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
I do believe God will protect the ministry. He will remove men not quilfied.

1 Samuel 4:12–18 (ESV)

The Death of Eli
12 A man of Benjamin ran from the battle line and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes torn and with dirt on his head. 13 When he arrived, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told the news, all the city cried out. 14 When Eli heard the sound of the outcry, he said, “What is this uproar?” Then the man hurried and came and told Eli. 15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes were set so that he could not see. 16 And the man said to Eli, “I am he who has come from the battle; I fled from the battle today.” And he said, “How did it go, my son?” 17 He who brought the news answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has also been a great defeat among the people. Your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.” 18 As soon as he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backward from his seat by the side of the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.
He was old, and fat, possibly from the stolen meat and died!

Now Contrast that with Samuel

Good overseer verse bad Samuel vs Eli

1 Samuel 7:3–4 (ESV)

Samuel Judges Israel
3 And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your heart to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they served the LORD only.
So when Samuel entered his ministry he didn't see the worship of the Lord as drunkenness. He taught his people to be faithful in the worship of the Lord.

1 Samuel 7:9 (ESV)

9 So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. And Samuel cried out to the LORD for Israel, and the LORD answered him.
When the worship of the Lord occurred he didn't steal or participate in theft of the offers like Eli and his sons.

1 Samuel 7:15–17 (ESV)

15 Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 And he went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah. And he judged Israel in all these places. 17 Then he would return to Ramah, for his home was there, and there also he judged Israel. And he built there an altar to the LORD.
Samuel walked in faithfulness all of his life. He was going around doing God's call in his life.

1 Samuel 8:1–7 (ESV)

Israel Demands a King
8 When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. 3 Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice.
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.
I think that this is the best way to end looking at Samuel. He like Eli had sons that were not faithful. Yet he kept his faith and obeyed God. This is a good note for all leaders. You may walk in faithfulness but sin is still real. His sons did not walk like him. This doesn't mean God's promises are void or don't apply, this means sin is real and will always rear its ugly head.
Also for Leaders remember you will be rejected. Samuel was, and Jesus was.
Jesus is the ultimate pastor for us. He is the high shepherd of our church. How a church does leadership or how it appoints and honors it's leaders and pastors is not different from Israel. Now pastors and leaders must be like Samuel not like Eli, like David not Saul.
For pastors to be like Jesus that is how you come in. Pray for the pastors in your life, pray for the deacons in your life. Finally let me ask you is Jesus your chief pastor, your king?
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