"able to teach"1 Timothy 3.2
Yesterday I wrote about the need for the leader to reflect the nature of the church. As the church is like a family, so its leadership needs to be father-like in style. There is though a key skill which Paul highlights for the leader:
The Overseer's tool - v.2
The one skill Paul mentions, apart from caring/protecting the family of God, is teaching. The Church's nature is not just that we are a family, we are a family wholly shaped by the truth seen in Jesus. That is why teaching is so vital.
We don't primarily appoint leaders who are great strategists, administrators or visionaries (unless we mean by visionary someone whose vision is filled by Jesus). Such skills will lead to an organisation growing, but they are not the core skill of the overseer/elder. The key skill is faithful, gospel infused and focused, biblical teaching.
If this is lost we can become an incredibly successful heresy.
So, if, as a church leader, I spend so much time on strategy etc. that I neglect teaching - I have got it wrong. There are times when circumstances have squeezed my preaching preparation time, and yet God has blessed the sermons, but I must remember that that is his grace in my weakness, not licence for de-prioritising my efforts in teaching.
It also means that as church members, we must seek to protect the teaching ministry of our leaders. Don't wish for a more visionary, strategic leader, but for a great teacher.
Part 3 tomorrow...