Today is day 87 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days.
Whenever you start a new job, your employer may hand you the “employee manual.” You know what I’m talking about – it’s been photocopied 17 times and is laced with spelling errors and BBQ sauce stains. Although it’s a very dry read, it contains the information, policies, and expectations you need to be aware of so that you can perform your job correctly.
Minus the dryness, spelling errors, stains, and over all boring-ness, 1 Timothy is the first of Paul’s letters that functions as a pastor’s employee manual. It contains the information, policies, and expectations you need to be aware of so that you can perform your job as pastor or ministry worker correctly. And know this: God has high standards!
1 Timothy introduces us to a portion of Paul’s letters known as “the pastoral epistles.” 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus function as the instruction manual/training guide for pastors and church leadership. Their main subject is how to appropriately and Biblically lead the church. Of course they’re written by one of the greatest pastors and church planters who ever lived, Paul the Apostle!
1 Timothy addresses many different aspects of the ministry including prayer, taking care of widows within the church, preaching, the character traits of church leaders and pastors, and much more. It’s a very valuable book to all, but especially those within church leadership.
1 Timothy was written to Timothy, a young pastor in Ephesus – Paul’s protege. To highlight the severity and importance of his words, Paul says this…
“This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith” – 1 Timothy 1:18-19
Speaking as a pastor, I would ask you to pray for your pastor. The work of the ministry is not for the faint-hearted. Being a Christian is challenging, and being a pastor has its own set of challenges and trials. Seeing and being involved in the lives of so many hurting people can be burdensome, painful, and a big load to carry. As pastors, we have to learn to give that burden over to Jesus, the chief Shepherd. Our shoulders weren’t built to carry the weight of the ministry. However, He does expect a lot out of us. We’re on the front lines “waging the good warfare.”
If you want to be a pastor or you’d like to know what’s expected of a pastor, make sure to read Paul’s list of requirements in 1 Timothy 3:1-7.
Other ministry leaders within the church are held to a high standard as well – read 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
Prayer is a major priority for Paul (as it should be for us). He told Timothy…
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people” – 1 Timothy 2:1
Paul also makes it clear that women are not eligible for the pastoral role. Before I get a bunch of hate e-mail about that, let me clarify something: that doesn’t mean they’re less important, inferior, or unusable by God. Women have a very powerful and useful role in leading other women within the church. The issue is that a woman being the spiritual leader over a man flies against the order that God has set up within Scripture.
Another one of the pastor’s main jobs is to preach the word. If you know me, you know this is a passion of mine. And I’m not talking about cute little sermonettes either. I’m talking about plunging the depths of the word of God and treating it as though it really is alive and active (as it says it is). 1 Timothy 4 reflects Paul’s heart toward preaching and desire to make sure that God’s people don’t follow after worthless doctrine and lying words. A pastor’s job is to (spiritually) feed his flock faithfully and heartily. After all…
“…by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” – 1 Timothy 4:16
Paul also makes it a point to mention to Timothy that a pastor should not feel guilty about making a living from ministry. Some are certainly guilty of taking it too far and becoming extremely rich by pressuring people to give more money. Paul is obviously not encouraging that. However, as he says…
“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” – 1 Timothy 5:17