1 Timothy 3: The Need for Leadership
In 1 Timothy 3, we receive the qualifications for church leadership. Presumably, Timothy was a fairly responsible young man, but Paul explains why he is outlining these qualities for Timothy to follow as a young pastor.
1Ti 3:14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
1Ti 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
In our everyday lives, we don’t need to ideologically agree with our coworkers. If we do business with other companies, we don’t need to see eye to eye on every issue. It is fine in that context. It would be ridiculous to only interact with people we agree absolutely with.
However, the church is a different type of institution. There are certain characteristics that are necessary in the church. For the people who are going to be leading the church, there needs to be agreement and solidarity there. Not that any two people are going to agree on everything, but there needs to be a level of shared commitment that we certainly do not need in every area of our lives.
Some of you might remember the issue that arose when InterVarsity wanted to maintain standards for their leadership that at a bare minimum they would be Christian leaders. They were not allowed on certain campuses as a result of that statement, but they were remaining faithful to passages like this in Timothy.
Remember that the church is the institution that stands for truth. As the universal body of Christ, we are here to promote a Christian worldview and bring people to the point where they understand the pleasure of glorifying God. Therefore, as we need leaders in such an institution, we need to make sure that it is a very important responsibility for these leaders to maintain the shared commitment.