Friday, March 4, 2011

Leadership Qualities (Qualifications of Worship Leaders), 1 Timothy 3; The Adult Sunday School Lesson for 3-13-11

ATTENTION:  Please note that this is The Adult Sunday School Lesson, Leadership Qualities aka Qualifications of Worship Leaders, on 1 Timothy 3 for the 3-13-11 International Sunday School Lesson.  You will find the 3-06-11 lesson, Instructions about Worship aka Worship Guidelines, directly beneath this message and on the right side.


Leadership Qualities
Qualifications of Worship Leaders
1 Timothy 3
International Sunday School Lesson
March 13, 2011

Jed Greenough

I pray that we haven’t lost too many after the more difficult lesson commentary from this past week and together we can enjoy all the scriptures that God has so generously blessed us with!

I recently had to choose a passage and answer three questions about it.   I chose today’s passage since I knew we would be gathering together to discuss it.  Here are the questions:

1.      What was the author’s intent of this text?
2.      Why does God have this passage in the Bible?
3.      How can I apply the passage to my life?

Other passages may have been a bit more difficult in some aspects but as we know this passage carries a wee bit of stress to make up for those.  The thing I liked was that I didn’t have to stew about incorrectly interpreting these verses as one might with some difficult prophecy had I gone that route.  Paul made it very easy really because he not only answers the first question in the latter portion of the passage but in fact the same answer can apply to all the questions.

In verse 14a-15, Paul gives us the answer that we are looking for, “I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”

Those instructions beginning with the very first verse and continuing on to the end are, to answer the question number 2 above, why God has them in the Bible so we know how we are to conduct the church.  He doesn’t want us to wing it.  He doesn’t want us to guess who qualifies or not.  Can we choose to ignore these instructions?  Many do!

Question number 3 asked, “How can you apply it to your life?”  How can you?  Well you can, if you aspire to one of these positions or if you are deciding if someone qualifies for one of these positions by very simply creating a check-off sheet and marking qualify or does not qualify.

If the answers are all in the positive, and the position is taken, you know that you stand with what was given to us as outlined for the church, the pillar and foundation of truth.  But if you cannot answer in the affirmative you are contrary to the instructions given and therefore contrary to truth!  To point this out to those in disagreement with this is unpleasant for me, but to not do so would be dishonest.

If we revisited the passage and the three questions how could we answer them differently?

1.      What was the author’s intent of this text?  We could say that when Paul said he was writing these instructions concerning how to conduct the household that was the church, what he really meant to say was…..
2.      In this question, “Why does God have this passage in the Bible?” we could say, “He just meant it as a suggestion.”
3.      We could answer, “How can I apply the passage to my life?” as, “however I want.”

We could then decide that those who have been divorced and remarried multiple times, the intemperate, those without self-control, the disrespectable, the inhospitable, those who cannot teach, the drunken, the violent, the argumentative, the insincere, the dishonest, those with disrespectful children, the newly converted and those with bad reputations all qualify!

I do not doubt anyone’s love for God.  I do not doubt anyone’s desire to serve.  I do not doubt that many take on things because others don’t.  Nor do I doubt that God could have anticipated it if it were necessary to change His instructions and that He would have told us.

For Discussion:

1.     Again this week, it is very important that our discourse in this matter is done in a loving and uplifting manner.
2.     If many are serving in roles that do not meet the Biblical qualifications because others are not, what will you do about it?
3.     There are interchangeable words for the position described beginning with verse 1 to include: overseer, elder, shepherd, pastor.
4.     Have you or has someone you know ignored their calling to these positions?  Don’t ignore this any longer.
5.     Discuss why qualifications matter for any position let alone those within the church.
6.     Suggest to your class that as a group project, each student invites 2 or more to join you in class.  You provide the names and the class mails the invitations.
7.     Don’t forget to bookmark or link to this site so you can find it again.
8.     Pray for and thank your Elders and Deacons.

Join me in the weeks ahead for the following International Sunday School Lessons:

3-20-11: Leadership Priorities (Prepare for Leadership) 1 Timothy 4:6-16
3-27-11: Compassionate Service (Worship Inspires Service) 1 Timothy 5:1-8, 17-22
4-3-11:   Remember Jesus Christ 2 Timothy 8:8-19

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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