The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
Before we get into the qualifications of a pastor (or “overseer”), it must first be pointed out that a pastor will be judged more strictly than others. Anyone can aspire to be a pastor. But not anyone can actually be a biblical pastor. This office is a noble office. It is a work requiring an elevated character. An elevated character that is evidenced by his lifestyle, and an elevated character that is maintained while pastoring.
Here, Paul is telling Timothy very simply – but very strongly: “If you desire to be a pastor, or if anyone in your congregation aspires to the pastorate, great! But first, vert specific and important qualifications must be in order and evident.”
A biblical pastor is not better than anyone else in the congregation (or world!). But the biblical pastor is held to higher standards than others. He is a leader. He oversees souls. He must give evidence of godly, noble character. This doesn’t mean he’s perfect (hallelujah!). But it does mean he gives strong evidence of applying the Gospel to his heart and life.
What does this mean for YOU?
1. Pray for your Pastor.
Pray that he never forget the seriousness of this office. Pray that he walks with God. Pray that he not take his calling lightly. Pray that he pastor with a sense of urgency and holiness and zeal to please the Lord.
2. Pray for your Associate Pastors.
I include those who serve alongside the Senior Pastor in this category. Associate Pastors care for souls. They are “overseers.” Go back through the description under #1 and pray it for other staff Pastors.
3. Consider Your Own Calling.
There may be a young man reading this, or you may know of a young man (or “not so young” man!) who aspires to the pastorate. I would love to know if God is calling you/him, or if He has placed in your/his heart an aspiration to be an “overseer.” Let me know so we can talk. I would love to help prepare you for this “noble” and “wonderful” work. Reply below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is this a good thing for you readers? A pastor who considers his work a very serious, noble task will work tirelessly to ensure your walk with God thrives. Pray for your Pastor(s).