The qualifications of the ministry aren’t a suggestion. If a candidate doesn’t fit these, he’s not qualified. If a preacher who was once steadfast falls from this standard, he’s no longer qualified. We all fail, myself daily. But these qualifications are what they are, and no one is to get a free pass.
Each of these is crucial to the nature of the ministry. As a few examples, a preacher must be of good behavior, lest he bring shame and reproach upon the cause. He must be be apt to teach, or the flock he leads won’t learn. He must not be a striker or a brawler, because all he will do is fight and war with others, many times other preachers. He must not be greedy of filthy lucre, else he would would perform, rather than preach, in order to generate himself more popularity and income. Vigilance and sober-mindedness give him the clarify of mind, focus, and resolve he needs. And he must be patient! He is to lead sheep belonging to his Shepherd.
You get a glimpse into the way a man will perform in the ministry by watching his home life. If he is overbearing or harsh as a father, he will be overbearing or harsh as a pastor. If he is slack as a father, he will be slack as a pastor. If he is absent and distracted as a father, he will be as a pastor. You get the point.
As the ministry is a sacred work, too much is at stake to disregard the qualifications of such.
1 Timothy 3:2-7 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Originally published September 2019