torsdag 22. desember 2016

Ready for a noble task?

When Paul chose to write to Timothy about church leaders and members, it was because he wanted Timothy to:
“…know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”
1 Timothy 3:15
In other words, it is Paul’s concern for the church that is the motive for the high expectations he has to the appointed leaders. I will not at this stage reflect on the details, they need no explanation and are found in the third chapter. I choose to dwell on the opening phrase:
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.
1 Tim 3:1
This verse has always intrigued me, and I used it as an introduction to the first leadership course I published more than 25 years back. The verse puzzles me because I wonder if there really are a lot people who desire to be an overseer? It seems even more strange if they have read all the requirements found in chapter three.

Experience confirms that the church needs people who are willing to take on such roles. A few days ago I spoke with a young family who are members of a well-run church. After a long period without a pastor, a few months they welcomed one who accepted the challenge. "It was not until after he had arrived that we realized how much we have missed having a pastor", the young family commented.

I know their new pastor. He knows what it is all about and what he has committed himself to, and I know his motivation - he is one of the best pastors I know. I think “motive” was Paul’s concern. The demands for qualifications are in many ways unlimited, but the person who takes on such a mission with the right motive, also understands that it is a noble task he has taken on. It is a task that needs to be done and therefore it is part of ‘the good deposit’, for which all disciples are responsible stewards. Therefore, we should support those who face the challenge of leadership.

'Manna' for today:

Discipleship is about being ready for noble tasks.

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