E100 Devotion – Day 86

July 30, 2012

Reading: 1 Timothy 3

The apostle Paul defines the qualifications Church leaders must possess. He starts off by saying that it’s good to desire the office of a bishop, and then He speaks of the office of a deacon. The King James Version uses the word office while some other modern versions say position.

New Testament leadership wasn’t really “positional” as much as it was practical and functional. There are actually 4 different Greek words used for the word “office”, and they are each used differently according to the function that accompanies it. For example:

  • Office of a Bishop – the word office used is “episcope”, which means inspection, superintendence, go and see. This is a leader who oversees ministry or churches in different or multiple locations. 1Timothy 3:1
  • Office of a Deacon – the word office is “diakoneo”, which means an attendant that waits upon, menially or as a host, to act as a servant friend. 1Tim.3:10
  • Office of a Member – the word office is “praxis”, which means to practice, act, function, or work. It comes from the Greek verb “prasso”, which means to perform repeatedly or habitually. Romans 12:4
  • Office of Priest – the word office used is “hierateia”, which means priestly sacerdotal function, to be a priest and perform his function. Hebrews 7:5

Leadership in the world culture had actually corrupted the temple, because leaders became very positional, self-serving and self-centered. Leadership was sought for its prestige and became very authoritarian.

But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.”
Matthew 20:25-26

Paul is exhorting leaders to be an example in function. Be humble, disciplined, have good family relationships and order. Start by being consistent members, and then progress to serving and hosting ministry. Then, ultimately, lead multiple ministries and churches. Also, have a good respectable testimony within the community.

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