Friday, January 11, 2013

Overseeing Under Authority

It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. (1 Timothy 3:1)

I suppose that some men perhaps pursue the office of overseer without a desire or aspirations to serve in that capacity. Others may see giftings in him and persuade him to be a pastor. And he may agree to it. Some have entered this office from family pressures…perhaps there is a family history or legacy to continue, maybe they come from a long line of pastors. But the most effective bishop, overseer, or pastor, is one who aspires to the office, or desires to do this fine work. Someone who has the want to or desire. Someone who cannot do anything else as effectively because they are designed for the work of a spiritual overseer or pastor. A reluctant pastor is a burden to his family, his church, and himself. But the one who desires to do the work will stick to it. Often it is only the call of God that keeps him there. Biblically, there seems to be a comparison and contrast in the context as to the qualifications of the pastor and the deacon. The similarities are shared of being men of good reputation and able to manage his family. But the deacon is a servant. And sometimes servants are pressed into service even when they didn’t have the aspiration to be a deacon because service was called for. But the deacon is a servant and not an overseer. The deacon is not occupying an office of authority in the church. When speaking of deacons, the Bible speaks primarily of service. When speaking of overseers, the Bible is focused on spiritual authority, which the model is servant leadership. We err in the church when we place authority in the hands of the deacon and never in the hands of the pastor. The trustworthy statement is that the pastor must have the desire to be a man in authority while under authority, knowing that he is accountable for how he has wielded authority while in this position. He must be a man who is in authority with an understanding of authority. This fine work is a responsible responsibility of a true servant leader.

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