I know it’s been a while since I posted anything. I have been getting acclimated to my new position at Unity and keeping up with all things, so blogging and tweeting has not been a priority.
However, today I’m posting some abbreviated notes for this mornings talk at Three Rivers Community Church. This will make for great into to the role of pastor and his job as we continue working through that topic.
Here are the notes.
1 Timothy 4:6-16
What is a Good Pastor?
I ask the question of the title because of Paul’s language in verse 6 that says if you do these things you will be a good servant, and Paul is speaking to the pastor, therefore, to do these things will make one a successful pastor.
Often success is gauged by the size of one’s congregation, how many building projects they have undertaken, the rate of numerical growth, or some other fake means of determining success.
However, the biblical text gives us another picture.
What makes a good and successful pastor that you want to look for if you are looking or expect if you are settled in your church?
1. A good pastor keeps the gospel and it’s implications in front of the people v. 6, 11
This requires some things.
A. A pastor must love the Gospel over methods
B. A pastor must love preaching (as opposed to teaching)
a. Preaching is the mandate (good preaching must have the element of
1. Proclamation is the means given the preacher to bring the
Gospel to bear.
C. A pastor must be a teacher (he must be other things too)
a. A good teacher is a learner
b. A good teacher is passionate
c. A good teacher is an expert in their field
2. A good pastor gets training v. 6b (passive voice – to be skilled in or trained in)
Paul spent 14 years (Galatians 2) growing and training before his ministry of apostleship takes off.
1. This means that a good pastor seeks some outside help
b. Voracious reader
c. The wisdom of other and older men
If a pastor will not get training and seek to continue to grow he is not worth his salt. Pastors must always be students and seeking to learn from wiser men.
3. A good pastor avoids stupid peripheral arguments v. 7a
A. We will major on the major issues
1. We are willing to fight on the foundational issues.
B. We will honor the minor doctrines we find biblical and valuable
1. We will debate them in love but NOT divide over them
C. We will ask you to leave if you want to make a major over the minors
4. A good pastor trains for godliness v. 7b, 8, 9, 10, 11
εὐσέβεια eusébeia; gen. eusebeías, fem. noun from eusebḗs (2152), devout, godly. Devotion, piety toward God (Acts 3:12; 1 Tim. 2:2; 2 Pet. 1:6, 7). Godliness or the whole of true religion, so named because piety toward God is the foundation and principal part of it (1 Tim. 4:7, 8; 6:6, see Matt. 22:37, 38; Heb. 11:6). Although eusébeia in the NT is translated “godliness” (1 Tim. 2:2; 3:16; 4:7, 8; 6:3, 5, 6, 11; 2 Tim. 3:5; Titus 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:3, 6, 7; 3:11), the word “God” is not in it. Only in 1 Tim. 2:10 is it theosébeia (2317), where the word Theós (2316), God, occurs as a prefix instead of eú, good or well.
The word eusébeia literally means well–directed reverence, but does not imply an inward, inherent holiness. It is actually an externalized piety. Paul uses it only in the pastoral epistles.
One has to be careful with piety because piety can lead to a legalistic effort to gain one’s right standing before God.
A. A pastor must be always training for the outside to match the inside
a. Quick to repent
b. Quick to admit poor decision making
c. Not a lone ranger but a team player in a multiplicity of leadership
1. We have one senior pastor, Jesus, the Chief Shepherd
d. Clearly centered on the Gospel and not legal righteousness
e. A community presence fighting for the Gospel
f. A community presence in bringing the Gospel to bear on social ills
g. A growing sense of wisdom about what one can and cannot do
h. A work ethic greater than most
i. An ability to gather people because of Jesus
This external living out of the Gospel and it’s implications leads to the next statement made by Paul.
What does Paul mean by “…who is the savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”?
a. Jesus died for all people, but only those who believe in him
b. Jesus is offered to all people, though not all receive him.
c. Jesus is savior of all people, namely those who believe
d. It means savior of all kinds of people, not Jews only, but
but both Jews and Greeks.
The living out of the Gospel in a pastor’s external life communicates that fact that our hope is build on the living God who is the only means of salvation for all nations (he came to be seen and heard by all) and particularly for those who would repent and believe the Gospel.
5. A good pastor does not allow anyone to despise the work of God because of his age v. 12
6. A good pastor preaches from the Bible v. 13
7. A good pastor gives attention to the development of his gifts v. 14, 15
A. A pastor must know his strengths and do them and become excellent at
what he does
B. A pastor must allow others who do what he does not do and be ok with
them getting the credit for their work
8. A good pastor persistently guards himself and the gospel from all things that would distract from the gospel. v. 16
A. A good pastor must have a radar to detect Gospel distractions
B. A good pastor must be willing to fight and have some vigor to him
C. A good pastor must be able to be gentle with those who love the Gospel
gen gen (genitive)
 Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary : New Testament, electronic ed. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).