“3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of [pastor], he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore a [pastor] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, selfcontrolled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.” (1 Timothy 3:1-7).
After a church service one Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother, "Mom, I've decided to become a minister when I grow up." "That's okay with us, dear, but what made you decide that?" "Well," said the little boy, "I have to go to church on Sunday anyway, and I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell, than to be told to sit down and shut up." That may not be the best reason to pursue the pastoral ministry, but it definitely could be an appealing one for a young and energetic boy. But the truth is that God has raised up pastors within His Church so that all may hear the good news of Christ, crucified, risen, and ascended.
In 1 Timothy 3, we hear Paul’s words on the importance of this role, but even more we hear the importance of the character of the individuals who hold this role. Paul does not focus on skills and abilities. He focuses on character, the intangible realities that cannot be easily bought or taught but are often slowly caught over a lifetime of experience. Writing upon these and similar passages, Christian authors have been led to reflect:
“What a list of qualifications! Who can measure up to them? No individual will have them all in equal measure. These are the divine standards which God invites church and pastors to evaluate pastors. The church cannot ignore God’s standard without serious results. ~ Gary Schuetze
“According to Scripture, virtually everything that truly qualifies a person for leadership is directly related to character.” ~ John MacArthur
“The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.” ~ John Stott
Over the past several months Calvary’s leadership has been involved in focused discussions, as we have reflected upon Calvary’s long-term staffing needs. At this time, we feel that it is important for us to move forward with a call process seeking to fill the vacant associate pastor position. This means that the Spiritual Care team is now in the process of forming a call committee to begin taking the next steps forward.
Please pray for this process. Please pray for these people who will help guide this call process. Please pray for God’s continued leading in all areas of His church, among its current and future leaders. And above all, please pray that God would continue to raise up workers in His harvest field, as we continue to see shortages of pastors and church workers in many areas of our nation and world.
May God bless us as we continue “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel…” (Philippians 1:27b). For God has called the people of Calvary to be about the work of Engaging People in Christ through Connecting, Learning, and Caring as we Serve the Lord in all that we do.
God’s Peace, Pastor Kurt Ebert