Church leadership and God's reputation
What characteristics do you expect in your church leaders?
Google “characteristics of a church leader” and it seems that everyone has an opinion about what are the top 5, 8, 10, or 12 specific character traits that a church leader must inherently possess or attempt to develop. Rather than dream up the requirements for a perfect leader, we’re probably better off asking ourselves this question:
What are God’s expectations of leaders in his church?
Titus 1:7 Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless…
Remember that to be blameless is to be free from any accusation of wrong-doing. Other translations render the word as above reproach or without fault. Paul’s point is that from the outside looking in, there should not even be a hint of the following five characteristics or activities:
Titus 1:7 Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless – not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.
Any one of these traits would destroy a church family. As such, they have no business being part of a church leader’s life. On the flip-side, these are the characteristics to expect:
Titus 1:8 Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.
But let’s not make this a check list and completely de-humanize the person. This isn’t just a list of do’s and don’ts. The key to understanding what God looks for and why he requires these specific traits is found at the beginning of verse seven…
Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work
He is acting as God’s manager, as God’s administrator, and as God’s trustee. As the representative of God to both those inside and outside of the church, it is crucial that the man chosen to lead represents the same actions and motives that God does towards humanity.
Do our church leaders exhibit all of the qualities that God desires?
Do we see a reflection of how God treats us in the way our leaders conduct themselves and interact with others?
If the answer is “No” for either of these questions, then they should not be an overseer entrusted with God’s work. After all, God’s reputation is on the line.