The qualifications are for church leadership. The church is made up of people. Pastoring is about providing leadership, leadership is about providing a life of example to others. Even when we say a Pastor is a called individual but there is no way we can separate the Pastor from his family. As it is expected of the Pastor to live an exemplary life, which Apostle Paul called “blameless” in Titus 1:6, his/her family is expected to follow the line (Text: 1Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1: 5-9)
Topic and Biblical Exposition
Ice Beaker: The occasion of a Pastor’s funeral and comments of the family
Members versus that of the church members (Expand). Pastor – One and part of the whole of the Five Fold Ministry (Eph 4:11).
Qualifications for being a Pastor aside from being born again and call of God are in I Timothy 3: 1-7; and Titus 1:6-9. In a 2012 poll, where respondents in part of the U.S.A were asked to rate the “Honesty and Ethical standards” of 22 different Professions, it was discovered that many people trust their Pharmacists more than their Pastors. Seventy – five percent ranked pharmacists as high/very high Sadly, church leaders ranked eighth, and only one in two said the ones they know are men of integrity. (Source: Our Daily Journey Annual Edition, Vol. 5 of 26/11/2014 RBC Ministries, Grow Rapids, U.S.A). Of the 17 qualifications expected of a church Elder(Pastor) in Titus 1:5-9, blameless life ranked first, followed by the husband of but one wife, and a man whose children believe they are not straightforward forward of being wild and disobedient.
Other qualifications that strengthen the Pastor’s “blameless” life are found in vs 7-9 of the book. (Marriage Devotional Bible) Contemporary English Version Bible put it this way “They must have a good reputation and be faithful in marriage. They must train their children to be followers of the Lord and not to be known as notorious wild disobedient ones (v.6).
The Message Bible puts it thus “As you select them (church leader), ask, “Is this man well- thought- of? Are his children believers? A church leader, responsible for the affairs of God’s house must be looked up to….”(vs. 6-7a).
We need to take notice that part of what Apostle Paul asked Titus to set in order were things that are wanting in the church in Crete was to ordain Elders (Pastors). This refers to children who are Believers and have proven to be such by proper conduct (The Expositor’s Study Bible – Jimmy Swaggart).
Pastor’s Families Must Be Books People Read
(Hebrews 12:2 viz a viz 2 Cor. 3:2-3) 2 Cor. 3:2-3 (The message)
Your very lives are a letter that one can read by just looking at you ….”
Heb. 12:2 The Message “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in study how He did it….” The import of trying to juxtapose these two passages is that as Christians in general and Pastors in particular look unto Jesus as our example, we need to know that we are also the book the people read.
Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:5-8 counseled us to follow the examples of our Lord Jesus in humility and obedience. If others will learn from us we must be examples in humility and obedience too. The demand on Elders in Titus 1: 5-9 and I Timothy 3: 2-7 must therefore include his family life. I am emphasizing here that as it is demanded of a Pastor to be above reproach, all the characters expected in such a manner must include that of his/ her spouse and the children if there are. Surmising Apostle Paul’s instructions in I Timothy 3 says “Husbands (who are church leaders) should demonstrate temperance, self-control, respectability, hospitality, sobriety, and gentleness. He warned against being quarrelsome and urged the leaders to have the right perspective about money (vv 2-3).
A husband who demonstrates these qualities will be loved and respected by his wife. And for the wife, she is expected to live her life to be worthy of respect. Wives are cautioned to avoid malicious gossip and going off on tangents. They should also be temperate and trustworthy in everything. A wife that is calm, collected, and well-balanced will set a pleasant atmosphere in the home where love can grow and flourish. She will be the kind of wife that a husband can trust. As these positive character traits can bring harmony to our marriage, they must help our leadership in the church. It is important that the exemplary character, diligence, care, and hospitality of the wife of Noble character not only bring honor to her family, but the entire society also took notice of the family, and they were duly respected for it all.
Every family and most especially the wife should meditate on Proverbs 31: 10-31 as often as possible and work hard to follow the example of this woman. Even if this assertion of mine may not be empirical, it’s been discovered that Pastor’s wives that strive to follow the example of the Wife of Noble Character are stabilizers to the ministry of their husbands. Many times, the husband could be exposed to anger and elements of harshness, but the gentle dispositions of the wife cool things off. I must not forget to maintain that we have had instances of bad wives that have either almost ruined the ministry of their husbands or ruined it outright.
Such wives are the exact opposite of the Wife of Noble Character in Proverbs 31: 10-31. and the standards set by Apostle Paul to church leaders’ wives in I Timothy chapter three and Titus chapter one.
Pastor’s Wife and a Woman of Noble Character
In the narration made in the Ice Baker of this write-up, the dead Pastor’s family delinquencies would perhaps not have been so exposed, if the wife had played her roles well. Even if the Pastor was weak in family life and control, the wife could have been the stabilizing factor if she had played her roles like the wife of the Noble character in Proverbs 31: 10-31.
See her virtues “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm all the days of her life ….Her husband is respected at the city gate where he takes his seat among the elders of the land…. She watches the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Prov. 31:11-12, 23, 27-28).
These virtues, if found in the mother of the house, the probability of the level of delinquency being much in the lives of the children could have been low. Such a family would have been an example of a family to follow.
Dear pastors and wives, if you can be seen as good examples to members and people, you will take the rigor in this article very seriously. Your ministry can move forward if you are ready to work in harmony and love. You are the book people read these days. You can learn further from expectations and stains in a pastor’s family.
Lecture Delivered at the 2023 Retreat of Emmanuel Baptist Pastors and Wives Retreat on August 8, at The New Covenant Baptist Church, Arometa, Off Sango- Eleyele Road, Ibadan by Rev Adebayo Abraham