1 Peter 5

Advice for Elders And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ. And I, also, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your good example. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honour.

You will find similar (but not identical) lists in First Timothy and Titus. Living life above reproach is the first requirement, and Titus repeats it. The other items on the menu explain what “above reproach” means. If we peruse the two lists, as well as First Peter, we find 17 qualifications of an elder who is above reproach.

A pastor must be devoted to his wife; a one-woman man (Titus 1:6; 1 Tim 3:2). The pastor’s marriage illustrates Christ’s love for His church—His bride (Eph. 5:22.). A Pastor must love his wife exclusively with his mind, will and emotions and not just his body.

A pastor’s children must be in submission, though not perfect (Titus 1:6; 1 Tim 3:4-5). If a man does not know how to manage his family, he will not know how to take care of God’s church. The first flock for a pastor is his family as Pastor Dad. A Pastor’s qualification for the church starts in his home management as he leads them up in the discipline and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).

A pastor is a faithful steward (Titus 1:7). Here the term used is an overseer (Greek episkopos). It is not another office, but a working title of the elder. It is what he does. He is a steward, a manager of God’s resources and Jesus’ flock. He takes responsibility, but not ownership.

A pastor must be humble — not arrogant (Titus 1:7). A pastor must consistently demonstrate the gospel by admitting when he is wrong and assuming responsibility and restoring relationships.

A pastor must be gentle — not quick-tempered (Titus 1:7; 1 Tim 3:3). No man will be of any use in the kingdom that is quick-tempered. The difference between how Jesus demonstrated anger is that He was angry at the abuse of others in the name of religion and the dishonouring of God. We get upset at how it affects us.

A pastor must be sober — not a drunkard (Titus 1:7; 1 Tim 3:3). It is not overindulgence in alcohol but is idiomatic for any behaviour that fuels addictive responses.

A pastor must be peaceful — not violent (Titus 1:7; 1 Tim 3:3). A pastor is prone to inflict violence through his words. He is to be a peacemaker.

A pastor must have financial integrity — not greedy for gain (Titus 1:7; 1 Tim 3:3; 1 Peter 5:3). A pastor is to be upright in his financial dealings and not accused of pursuing money over the kingdom of God.

A pastor must be hospitable (Titus 1:8; 1 Tim 3:2). A pastor’s home is to be open for others to enjoy. A pastor’s home is not a heaven on earth, but rather a place of ministry.

A pastor must be a lover of good (Titus 1:8). A pastor genuinely loves what is right. He does not think he should like it. Page 3

A pastor must be self-controlled (Titus 1:8; 1 Tim 3:2). Self-control is a characterisation of every area of a preacher’s life: diet, time, mouth, exercise, relationships, sex, and money.

A pastor must be upright (Titus 1:8). He has integrity in his relationships and in how he treats others.

A pastor must be holy (Titus 1:8). His life is devoted wholeheartedly to Jesus externally and internally.

A pastor must be able to teach (Titus 1:9; 1 Tim 3:2). All of the other qualifications are character qualities, but this is the only ability-based requirement. He is to be able to teach sound doctrine, not just be able to communicate excellently. His teaching can be to one or two, to twenty, to a hundred or a thousand. Most of the churches in Crete were house churches. The elders were to defend the faith once delivered to the saints against the numerous false teachers that arose.

A pastor must be spiritually mature (1 Tim 3:6). Positions of authority without spiritual maturity lead to the trap of pride. When pride grows in a man, sin abounds.

A pastor must be respectable (1 Tim 3:7). That does not mean that everyone must like him or even appreciate him. It says that there is no credible witness to ongoing sinful behaviour.

A pastor must be an example to the flock (1 Peter 5:3). Elders are examples of biblical expressions sexually, time management, marriage, parenting, worship, relationships and any other way. A pastor should be someone your sons could pattern their life after and the kind of man your daughter should marry.

The Directors, because of the responsibility bestowed on each one, as well as the seriousness of the calling within Filadelfia Ministries, are committed and bound to follow and abide by Scriptural guidance, Leading of the Holy Spirit, and The procedural direction according to the Constitution of Filadelfia Ministries, in evaluating all applications received for membership to Filadelfia Ministries, towards Pastors and Counsellors.

The office of Pastor (Shepheard, Overseer) is a calling, and not a means to an end. Applicants must reflect, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, whether they are indeed called for this task. A Pastor must be spiritually mature in leading a congregation, inclusive of all the secular, social, emotional and spiritual demands. These will also be evaluated in regarding applications and as such, previous behavioural tendencies and the response to past challenges.

The decision of the Board of Directors must be unanimous in approval.

If an application is not approved, it must not be viewed as “not good enough”, but rather “not ideal at this moment in time”. The Directors are committed to a journey to assist in exploring and nurturing the applicant towards fulfilling that calling within the time and place, according to God’s will.

The Bible specifically speaks about the qualifications for those who will lead a congregation of people. These qualifications have been the same for almost 2,000 years. Jesus is the perfect fulfilment of these requirements as the “Pastor” of the Church.

The term Pastor is used for male/female.

Scriptural qualifications for Pastors, counsellors and spiritual leaders according to Titus 1:6, Titus 7 and 1 Tim 3:2

Titus 2

Titus’s Work in Crete

I left you on the island of Crete so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you. An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife,[b] and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious. A church leader[c] is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker,[d] violent, or dishonest with money.

Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.

1 Timothy 3

Leaders in the Church

This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be a church leader,[a] he desires an honourable position.” So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife.[b] He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker[c] or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his household, how can he take care of God’s church?

A church leader must not be a new believer because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.[d] Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.

In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money. They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. 10 Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be carefully examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons.

11 In the same way, their wives[e] must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do.

12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well. 13 Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.