About this Class
This class is an exposition primarily of 1 Timothy 3 and is based on Bill Mounce's commentary, Pastoral Epistles. You can download the article in which he lays out his interpretation of the chapter as well as his Elder Position paper that addresses many of the interpretive and practical issues.
Currently, we only have a transcript for this class. Audio and video will be coming.
Someone once said, “Sitting in a garage doesn’t make you a car or a mechanic.” This is especially true of leadership in the church. A comparison of many people’s experience with pastors and elders, and the requirements in the Pastorals, betrays a serious lack of coherence. Just because someone holds the office of elder doesn’t mean they are an elder.
Now it is time to work our way through 1 Tim 3:1-8, pulling in data from 3:8-13, 1 Tim 5:17-25, and Titus 1:5-9. The numbers below refer to the relative order of qualities enumerated in 1 Tim 3:1-8. The qualities break down into three categories: character (above reproach); calling (Bible knowledge and ability to teach), and competencies (proven managerial ability with people). In this lesson we will focus on the character for leadership.
The second set of characteristics required of elders is that they must be “able to teach” (didaktikon). The church is led by its teachers. This is their calling from the Lord. Paul enlarges on this in his discussion with Titus 1:9. “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (ESV). From these two passages we see four aspects to the elder’s calling as a teacher.
The third major category of qualities has to do with the elder’s competencies. I could have included teaching abilities here, but since the distinguishing factor between elders and deacons is the ability to teach, I thought it warranted its own category.
There is so much more that could be said, and I would refer you to my commentary for more details, but I would like to conclude with several observations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the programs intended for?
The Foundations program is intended for everyone, regardless of biblical knowledge. The Academy program is intended for those who would like more advanced studies. And the Institute program is intended for those who want to study seminary-level classes.
Do I need to take the classes in a specific order?
In the Foundations and Academy programs, we recommend taking the classes in the order presented, as each subsequent class will build on material from previous classes. In the Institute program, the first 11 classes are foundational. Beginning with Psalms, the classes are on specific books of the Bible or various topics.
Do you offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program?
At this time, we offer certificates only for the classes on the Certificates page. While we do not offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program, you will be better equipped to study the Bible and apply its teachings to your life.