Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.1 Timothy 3:2-3 NIV
This chapter lays out the basic expectations, or qualifications, for bishops (pastors) and deacons. I find it interesting that these qualifications are oftentimes not what we look for, especially for a pastor. We tend toward focusing on education and experience. But Paul focuses on basic character. That is not to say that education and experience are unimportant, but being a man of good character is even more important.
Not Just for Pastors
Many might be tempted to see this list of basic character traits as applicable only to pastors. And while it is included in the qualifications for that position, does that make it less applicable to others? Is there anything on this list that every believer should not strive for? All of us should seek to be above reproach and to be faithful in our marriages. To be self-controlled, respectable, and hospitable. Not overindulging, violent, quarrelsome, or money-hungry. These are basic attributes that are laudable in all people. How much more in the life of followers of Jesus?
You may have no interest or calling in regards to being a pastor or deacon. But don’t, because of that, skip over this chapter. Instead, think of these as basic expectations for all believers. And seek to make them a part of your own life.