1 Timothy 3 (and Titus 1:5-9) addresses the qualifications of the person who seeks to be the leader of the church or in church leadership. There are specific requirements for those who have a strong desire to serve (1 Timothy 3:1-13). While some would say that the guidelines of 1 Timothy would not apply today, God’s desire is for those who seek to be the pastor to have a strong commitment and to live according to his specific guidelines. Paul was providing instruction to Timothy on this and other areas of ministry in the church. He told Timothy that God had already selected him for the work, even though he was a young leader, and that the elders laid their hands on him to also affirm that He was God’s choice (1 Timothy 4:14). Leading a church requires a call to ministry with an urging, and it should always be confirmed as a calling by the Spirit and not just as a childhoood desire. If you are working in ministry without receiving confirmation from God, it is a recipe for failure. God must provide the ability for anyone in leadership to serve Him effectively.
When does one demonstrate a desire for the office of pastor or bishop?
1. There is a letting go of the present.
2. There is a stretching forth and a reaching out.
3. There is a strong appetite and a longing to shepherd others (Hebrews 11:16; 1 Timothy 6:10).
What is the meaning of a bishop, presbyter, or a priest?
These titles always indicate the overseer of a particular congregation (Acts 20:28; Philippians 1:1; 1 Peter 5:2).
“If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work (1 Timothy 3:1).” It is not just the desire for the work, but it’s all about “the work.” The work is work for God (and it will be seen as either that of God or work of the flesh as time passes). The work for God is honorable, beneficial, and nothing to be ashamed of. It is good before God (as it is pleasing to Him) and man (as it has a benefit for mankind)–it brings glory to God and good unto its people. The work is not something you appoint yourself to do (Hebrews 5:1-6). Moses, Aaron, Samuel, and Abraham were selected by God to do His work, and he knew just when they were to be called to serve. Jesus Christ was obedient to the Father in that He did not appoint Himself to be High Priest. He was selected to be the Head of the church in agreement and was chosen by God. He had the desire to serve the Lord and met the requirements and qualifications to do so.