An elder must live a blameless life. Titus 1:6 (NLT).
What are the qualifications for Christian leadership? Is it a Bible College degree? Is it a denominational appointment? Or is it something else? According to the Scriptures the qualifications for Christian leadership have nothing to do with academic study or church protocol but has everything to do with character. In fact when it comes to leadership, character is everything.
According to Titus 1 the qualifications for Christian leadership falls into three categories – who you are, what you do, and what you believe.
‘Who you are’ Qualifications (Titus 1:6).
“An elder must be well thought of for his good life”
“He must be faithful to his wife”
“… and his children must be believers who are not wild or rebellious.”
‘What you do’ Qualifications (Titus 1:7-8).
“An elder must live a blameless life because he is God’s minister.”
“He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered.”
“He must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or greedy for money”
“He must enjoy having guests in his home and must love all that is good”
“He must live wisely and be fair”
“He must live a devout and disciplined life”
‘What you believe’ Qualifications (Titus 1:9).
“He must have a strong and steadfast belief in the trustworthy message he was taught”
“… be able to encourage others with right teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.”
These aren’t guidelines – they’re qualifications. If a man is going to be a pastor/leader he must pass in all three categories of qualifications. I personally don’t believe that a man can be a pastor/leader if he only gets a seventy percent grade on these qualifications. After all, he’s being entrusted with the spiritual well-being of the flock. People’s lives are in his hands. Which is maybe why Paul emphasizes “he must” over and over again.
So if a man’s children don’t love and live for the Lord, he’s not eligible to be a pastor/leader. If a man is greedy for money, he’s not eligible to be a pastor/leader. If a man doesn’t enjoy having guests in his home, he’s not eligible to be a pastor/leader. If a man can’t show opponents of the faith their error, he’s not eligible to be a pastor/leader. And so on …