Read: 1 Timothy 3:1-13
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach . . . sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable. (v. 2)
What would you include in your list of the most important qualities of a good church leader? Would hospitality be on that list?
Hospitality made Paul’s list! Here in 1 Timothy 3, Paul discusses the qualifications for “overseers,” or pastors and elders, in the early church. Paul gives an impressive list of qualities needed in an overseer—among them are the traits of being sober-minded, self-controlled, able to teach, and gentle. Overseers must not be drunkards or lovers of money, but they are to manage their own households well. In this list, Paul tells us that these leaders are also to be hospitable. A church leader needs to be an example to other believers. Their home is open, their children are well-disciplined, and their lives are living examples of the Christian life. Hospitality allows them to demonstrate in practical ways how believers live their lives and love others.
Many of us have been blessed with such elders in our lives, and their influence can be profound. It is one thing to read or to hear about what it means to follow Christ; it is even better when we can see it lived out before us. In this week of Thanksgiving, thank God for your own church leaders who have allowed their lives to be such “open books” and have demonstrated hospitality to you and to others in your congregation. —Laura N. Sweet
As you pray, thank God for your church’s leaders and pray for them.
About the Author
Laura N. Sweet is a wife, mother, grandmother, and former Christian schoolteacher from Midland, Michigan. She writes devotional material for both adults and children, and her work has appeared in more than a dozen publications.