How do I know if I biblically qualify for gospel ministry? (Category #3)

…The third category that summarizes the qualifications for the office of a pastor is a faithful manager of his family:

Faithfully Manage his Family

The qualification for this office is that a pastor be, “the husband of one wife” (1 Tim. 3:2). This phrase is commonly misunderstood that a pastor must be married and cannot be single, but this is not referring to his marital status.  This qualification does demand, however, a pastor is to be faithful to his one wife.  The pastor’s leadership in the home in regard to his wife is to love her deeply and sacrificially, “just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25).  As this command is for all Christian men to love their wives in this way, the pastor is called to model this for his people.

This characteristic, joined with Paul’s additional instruction to Timothy, also reveals a woman is not to exercise authority over a man (1 Tim. 2:12).  Just as men are to lead their families, God’s design is for the men to lead the church.

This principle also applies to children in your home.  The pastor is to shepherd, teach, care, and manage his children faithfully (1 Tim. 3:4).  This admonition does not entail that he must have children or that his children are to be converted.  It is a qualification that they must respect his authority as the God-appointed head and leader of the family.  Paul gives a very profound reason: “for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God” (1 Tim. 3:5)? 

Another characteristic that greatly affects the whole family is being “hospitable” (1 Tim. 3:2).  Most people affiliate this characteristic with welcoming people in their home, which is true, but this also implies welcoming and loving strangers.  Most people are hospitable to the people they know and love, but few of us are hospitable to strangers we don’t know.  Paul requires that a pastor model this kind of sacrifice and willingness to care for others, but also implies that he should train his household to embrace this role as the calling for the family.

Posted in Training for Ministry
2 comments on “How do I know if I biblically qualify for gospel ministry? (Category #3)
  1. Brian,
    As a pastor and father I have often prayed hard about this requirement. My children do show me and their mother respect and recognize our authority. We raised them to know the Lord, and all three of our kids made professions of faith and I baptized them.
    Our two daughters are out on their own now. They have wandered from our common faith and are not attending church regularly. They at times even talk like they are unbelievers. We love them and they still show love for us as well. We have not agreed with their life choices in many circumstances, but we do all we can to encourage them and show them God’s love and truth.
    As we went through various troubles with our kids I never questioned my calling, although I may have questioned my effectiveness.
    I appreciate your grace filled words on this subject.

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