A Sermon (#541) Preached By William “Bill” Touchton
Edited By Michael D. Lawson
If you have your Bibles, turn with me to 1 Timothy 3 and tonight I want to begin a series of sermons on the subject of spiritual leadership.
There’s an old maxim that says, “as goes the leaders, so goes the country.” I believe that to be true.
Never in the history of this country has the sin of immorality been accepted and approved as it is today. But, as goes the leaders, so goes the country.
Never in the history of this country has integrity, character, honesty, meant so little. But, as goes the leaders, so goes the country.
Never before in the history of this country has Christianity, the Bible, prayer, church been neglected like it is today. But, as goes the leaders, so goes the country.
But let me put it another way. As goes the spiritual leaders, so goes the church.
Never before has the church had so little influence and power, But, as goes the spiritual leaders, so goes the church.
Never before has the church been so unconcerned about purity and prayer, But, as goes the spiritual leaders, so goes the church.
Never before has the church been so unconcerned for lost souls. But, as goes the spiritual leaders, so goes the church.
If we could bet our spiritual leaders right, God can use them to lead the whole nation back to God.
Now, in our study of the book of Acts on Wednesdays, we learned in chapter 6 that when the leadership gets in line with God’s way of doing business, then the church will grow.
Now, I wish I could start some place else, but Paul starts with the pastor and we will follow his lead. So, as we begin this study on spiritual leadership, let’s begin by taking “A Look At The Pastor.”
About 8 years ago, while at Argyle, I started a youth camp ministry and during those early years, I didn’t know much and we didn’t have many people to work so I just did everything myself. I took charge of the arrangements, loading the bus, unloading the bus. I assigned everyone to a cabin, told them what time to eat, what time worship would start. And I learned quickly that I could not be in two places at once.
Now, wherever I was – was order. And…wherever I was not – was chaos.
During the day I tried to find a quiet place to think through my message, but when I left, chaos broke out.
So, I decided I needed to develop some leadership. And I just began to assign adults certain jobs. Then I elected a camp director to run the show. And then I could find a place and know everything was running in order.
Here’s the principle. Where there’s leadership, there’s order. Where there is no leadership, there’s chaos.
You can prove that out in any room in this church. Preschool…Children…Youth…AND Adults! Because what’s true of them is true of us. Where there’s leadership, there’s order. No leadership – chaos.
Think with me about the Corinthian church. It’s the most chaotic church in all the Bible. Here’s what you find. Division, strife, selfishness, immorality, drunkenness, false doctrine, etc. The members were even suing each other! It was a troubled church. But as you study the book, you will find something missing. That’s leadership. No one is in charge. There’s no one to set a godly example. Now that’s not how God designed it. In fact, what you will find is when they organized a church, they always established the leadership first.
Now, in this passage, Paul sets fourth the qualifications of the pastor. And we see The Pastor’s Call, The Pastor’s Character, and The Pastor’s Challenge.
When I was in my early 20’s God called me into the ministry. Well, someone may ask, “How did He do that?”
It’s really hard to explain, I didn’t hear a voice, but in my heart I did and I knew it was God and I knew what He wanted. It wasn’t in my head, it was in my heart. Let me show you two things:
When God by His sovereign choice Called me into the gospel ministry, he left me no choice. There was no option. It wasn’t, “Would you try this and see how it works?” It was a divine demand placed on me. Here are two examples from the Bible of this demand. One from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.
In Jeremiah 1.49…Did he want to quit? Sure did! But look at 20.7-9.
Look at Acts 26.13-16. Did he want to quit? Look at 1 Cor. 9.16.
I never really wanted to be a pastor, but after he called me, that’s all I wanted to be.
A. A bishop then must be blameless. it doesn’t mean perfect. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a past. The word used here refers to his present state. His life now is not marred by sin. He must be maturing in his faith.
B. A husband of one wife. John MacArthur says that husband = man…and that wife = woman with the emphasis on the word ‘one.’ Here’s what it means. He must be a one woman man. He must be devoted to his wife.
C. Vigilant. Meaning watchful and alert. According to Heb. 13, I have to watch over your souls. I guard this pulpit. I pray for God’s leaders
D. Sober. Means he can practice self control and isn’t ruled by passions. I’ve always loved sports, and playing softball was one of my favorites. Gail said she knew I was serious about becoming a pastor when I gave up softball.
E. Good behavior.
F. Given to hospitality.
G. Able to teach. Which means he has developed the ability to communicate God’s Word. By the way, when God calls us, He calls us to a life of study.
H. Not given to wine. He isn’t associated with it.
I. No striker. He isn’t violent.
J. Not greedy of filthy lucre. I got a call yesterday from a man that wants to put me in the market and buy a certain investment. He said he made $1700 last week. I told him I wasn’t interested. He named several pastors in our community are invested, but I told him I wasn’t interested. Money shouldn’t be a pastor’s god.
K. But patient. It means to be considerate, gracious, gentle.
L. Not a brawler. He doesn’t go looking for a fight.
M. Not covetous. He doesn’t put a price on his ministry. There are some evangelists, some musicians we will never have here because we can’t afford them. They have put a price on their ministry.
N. One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity. He leads his home. In matters of faith, he sets the example, his children follow. I have seen many a pastor loose his kids.
O. Not a novice (v 6). It means he isn’t newly converted. Paul warns us that this is an obvious source of pride and could lead him to his own condemnation.
P. Moreover he must have a good report.
If Satan can get to the pastor, he can destroy the church. I’m asking you to pray for me, that this would never happen. I hope that this drives you to pray for me. I hope this drives me to pray. Often times, when people make their pastors popular, they forget to pray. Let’s be a church that prays for God’s spiritual leaders in His church.