‘This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.’ — 1 Timothy 3:1
‘For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.’ — 1 Timothy 3:13
The first thing that Paul addresses formally in the book of 1 Timothy is the members of the church in chapter 2: holy men of prayer (2:1-8) and godly women of good works (2:9-15). The second most important area for local churches is their overseers and deacons (1 Timothy 3).
Churches must be very careful to choose the right type of men to lead and to serve in the local church. The emphasis for both bishops (pastors/elders) and deacons is personal character.
The main idea for pastors or bishops is blamelessness which is not perfection but being exemplary in one’s home life, one’s spiritual life, one’s testimony before unbelievers, in how one deals with anger and alcohol (v.2-5). Pastors must also be able to teach and not be novices because of the danger of pride (v.6).
Deacons also must be men of exemplary character in their spiritual life, their words, their approach to wine, their handling of money, their knowledge of God’s Word, and their home life (v.8-12). Deacons must also be proved first before they are put into a position (v.10). Those who serve well as deacons will be highly rewarded by God (v.13).