8Church officers should be serious. They must not be liars, heavy drinkers, or greedy for money. 9And they must have a clear conscience and hold firmly to what God has shown us about our faith. 10They must first prove themselves. Then if no one has anything against them, they can serve as officers.
11Women must also be serious. They must not gossip or be heavy drinkers, and they must be faithful in everything they do.
12Church officers must be faithful in marriage. They must be in full control of their children and everyone else in their home. 13Those who serve well as officers will earn a good reputation and will be highly respected for their faith in Christ Jesus.
Having established the qualities we should look for in a church official (vv.1-7), Paul continues by identifying the qualities we should look for in church officers (vv.8-13). In order for the church to proclaim the message of the Gospel and coordinate the activities of the members, there needs to be suitable church officials and officers.
So what are the requirements for church officers? How should they conduct themselves both inside and outside the church? All told, they should be serious, dependable, trustworthy, honest, temperate and responsible (vv.8, 10). They must be diligent in looking after their family and personal affairs (v.12) and they must also “hold firmly,” with “a clear conscience,” “what God has shown us about our faith” (v.9).
The motive for why people serve is also important. Church officers shouldn’t be in it for personal gain. That’s why they need to prove themselves first, and only when they’ve done so, then the members should take them on (v. 10).
Now this may seem like a very high standard for people who are simply serving in the church. Is it really necessary for church officers to be so highly qualified? Can’t they be a little free and easy every now and then? Can’t we overlook the matter if their children are badly behaved or they occasionally drink a little too much? Well no. Let’s not forget who we serve. Church officers aren’t serving in a club, sporting event, or political rally. They’re serving Christ, “the living God” (v.15), and helping fulfill His great plan for “everyone to be saved and to know the whole truth” (2:4).
So if you’re a church officer, serve well. And maintain a good testimony. For those who serve well will come to be highly respected and a real credit to this Christ-like faith (v.13).
Lord, Thank you for the people who serve in the church. Help them to engage regularly with your Word, be strong prayer warriors, and stay in good standing with you and those they serve. Amen.