The pastor of the local body that I gather with is teaching out of what is commonly referred to as the “pastoral epistles.” Right now he is teaching out of 1 Timothy. Just about every morning I read the entire book of 1 Timothy, it has really helped me grasp what Paul is trying to tell Timothy. I have been really trying to think through what Paul is saying and why it is being said.
I had an “epiphany” the other day. I was thinking about the qualifications for an “overseer” and a “deacon” and started to ponder about what Paul is talking about with these qualifications. I know some people believe this Paul is holding the pastors and deacons to a different standard than other believers but I have to disagree.
Apart from being a “husband,” everything in the list is something that every Christian should be doing. Paul has not described what the pastor/deacon should be, but what every believer should be. Basically the point that Paul is trying to make is this: If you call yourself a Christian and are not acting in these ways you should not be acting as an overseer of God’s flock or as a servant of God’s flock.
I think this distinction is important because I do not believe there is a separation between the “pastor” and the “people.” Rather those Christian who are living in faithful obedience to God are the ones who should be overseeing and serving God’s flock (if they desire to do so).
These are just the thoughts I have been having lately and I have not looked into it this subject too deeply yet, but I would love some discussion on this matter.
We are studying 1 Timothy as well. We refer 1-2 Tim, Titus, and Philemon as “Paul’s Personal Epistles.” I think you are on to something here. Paul is not trying to put additional requirements on elders or deacons. Instead, he is telling the church to look for those who are good examples of what all Christians should be. They should follow (as in, follow the example) of those types of believers. Thank you for your post!