The Servant Who Leads, The Leader Who Serves

A word study on the essentials of Christian servant-leadership

For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.~Jesus of Nazareth, Mark 10:45

As the glory of Jesus’ resurrection overwhelmed the horror of his crucifixion, Jesus gathered his disciples for forty days, taught them and blessed them. On the eve of his ascent to the Father, he charged them with these words: All authority in heaven and in earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, whom the Father will send in my name, will bear witness about me and will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; John 14:26; 15:26 NIV, (author’s paraphrase).

            A mere eleven men received Jesus’ command. Today, after more than two thousand years, the number of people in today’s church worldwide – nearly two and a half billion, according to the 2015 Pew Research findings – testifies to the apostle’s faithfulness and the relentless work of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus said, I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18).

A Holy and Royal Priesthood

Often, after Jesus had told a parable, he would add, He who has ears to hear, let him hear (e.g., Mk 4:9). Over the centuries, each man, woman and child who has had ‘ears to hear’ the gospel and responded in faith has been welcomed into the Kingdom of God: To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12a; cf. Ephesians 1:1-14.

They – and you – are the ones chosen by God, chosen for a high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you – from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. 1 Peter 2:4-5 MSG.

As each believer first ‘sets foot’ in the Kingdom of God, as they first breathe in the new air of peace and righteousness, they are given a ‘basket of fruit’ to nourish their spirits, and to equip them to do the work God has prepared for them in advance: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22 NIV).

In addition to this blessing of welcome, God has prepared an assortment of specialized, hand-crafted gifts for each and every individual: many of these gifts will bless the body of believers; others will prepare the way of the gospel; yet others will demonstrate the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Each gift will serve Christ’s followers as they encounter and embrace opportunities to serve, and to lead.

            Jesus admonished his disciples of the context and attitude of how these gifts are to be applied: you know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. (Mark 10:42-43). In the same way, every person who puts his or her faith in Christ Jesus and enters into God’s Kingdom will be called to serve God, the agenda of his Kingdom and all of God’s beloved children, saved and yet-to-be saved in this way.

Ministering to One Another in the Body of Christ

The ‘One Another’ Criteria. Throughout the New Testament, this term ‘one another’ (Greek allelous), is used to define the scope of Scripture’s many admonitions to the body of Christ. These advisories are given to encourage, admonish, or instruct in matters of character and conduct for the mutual good of everyone involved – elders, pastors, deacons, co-workers, married couples, families, adults and children alike. This study applies not only the entirety of the body of Christ but all to whom you as a Christian may encounter and be called to minister to.

In a sense, Jesus inaugurated the ‘one another’ criteria as he rendered his final lessons to his disciples during their last meal together: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another. John 13:34-35.

 Accept One Another. Acceptance, proslempsis, is to receive another person fully and wholeheartedly, complete with the essence of grace and without any sense of judgment or condition. The purpose for such a mutual acceptance is that God might receive the praise and honor for such a union or reconciliation.

            Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7.

Admonish One Another. To admonish, noutheteo, is to provide repeated or reinforced advice, instruction or teaching based in God’s word and wisdom, full with grace and free from any sense of hierarchical or judgmental authoritarianism. Often, such teaching or advising takes the form of a warning against possibly dangerous or harmful effects, such as stipulating the consequences should one succumb to temptation or sin. Several conditions apply to the giving of admonition: 1) it is to be done wisely and reciprocally, one to another; 2) that it is to be given in joyful celebration (psalms, hymns, songs); and 3) it is to be given thanksgiving for God’s standards, wisdom and love. Admonition is not a response of defensiveness or self-criticism; but is to be exchanged by mature Christians having been so equipped by the Holy Spirit.

            Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God (Col 3:16). …you…are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to admonish [instruct] one another. Romans 15:14.

Be Devoted to One Another. Devotion, philostorgos, pertains to the fervent or zealous expression of warmth, affection and love for another, particularly those who are close in relationship (c. “Greet One Another” below). Such an expression is to be both sincere and active, for to behave otherwise would negate the devotion itself.

            Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Romans 12:10.

Be Kind and Compassionate to One Another. One of the visible Gifts of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), the impartation of kindness, chrestos, is the provision of something good and beneficial for another person, without limitation or condition. Kindness is often given spontaneously in response to the urging of the Holy Spirit, and as such, is a gesture uniquely characteristic of love.

To combine an act of kindness with compassion, eusplanchnos, is to do so with mercy, affection and tenderheartedness. This word stems from the Greek, meaning “inward and valuable parts,” indicating the vital organs, most specifically the heart (hence, tenderhearted) as the seat of fervent affection and love, which permeates the whole personality. Idiomatically, this phrase can be understood as “giving a [good] piece of oneself” to another.

            Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32.

Be Unified with (or Belong to) One Another. To be in unity with another is for both persons to be “likeminded,” phroneo, indicating that they not only unanimously embrace the similar and compatible beliefs, but continuously give serious thought, consideration and attention to their convictions.

The concept of those unified in likemindedness, being ‘members’ of one another is used analogously to a limb of the human body, reflecting the idea of a relationship of different parts of the body integrated into a functional whole, the head (source) of which if Jesus Christ himself (c. Eph 5:23; Col 1:18).

            May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity (likemindedness) among one another as you follow Christ Jesus (Rom 15:5); so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to one another (Rom 12:5); … for we are all [one another], members of one body. Ephesians 4:25.

Bear With One Another. To bear with, anechomai, means to endure difficulty with patience. Originally, the root of this word meant “to lift up,” referring to holding oneself erect while in the act of enduring a hardship. Two or more to bear (endure) with one another within a reciprocal partnership wherein mutual care, encouragement, and patience are free to operate.

As such forbearance is exercised, the individuals involved cease to be self-centered. This way, neither partner presumes to “fix” or correct the other, but enters into the relationship with humility, love, patience, and gentleness, and the dedication that, regardless how difficult things may become, they are fully committed to one another and will not abandon the other.

            Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing (enduring) with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2.

Carry One Another’s Burdens. To carry, bastazo, the burden, barus, of another exceeds enduring the mere carrying of a burden, indicating that those so engaged enter into a binding partnership as they undergo a particularly trying, difficult or even grievous experience. As the burdens of life (e.g., suffering, pain, distress) become unbearable for any member of the body from time to time, the other members are called to lighten that load by sharing burdens, thus enabling the encumbered brother or sister to persevere and endure, or “stand.”  In so doing, Christ’s law of love is served and honored (Mt 22:36-40; Jn 13:34; 15:12; 1 Jn 3:23; cf. Lev 19:18).

            Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2.

Confess to One Another. To confess, exomologeo, or admit one’s sin to another is to acknowledge separation of relationship in service with and to God, and the work of the kingdom. This is not just a confession stemming from moralistic judgment, but also a reflection of mutual understanding and admission that forgiveness and grace are of utmost significance to God. In such a state of grace, repentance and forgiveness can flow without being impinged upon by rancor or shame. This is the first necessary step toward the achievement of spiritual healing and righteousness, restoration and reconciliation, and as such, may have a direct bearing on one’s physical or emotional health. The situation warranting, it may be appropriate for confession to be made publicly before the body. While this may indeed be difficult and embarrassing, it can be healing and restorative, not only for the one making the confession, but for the body as a whole.

            Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16.           

Demonstrate Concern for One Another. This manner of care or anxious concern, merimna, refers to one person assuming responsibility for another out of the naturally compassionate response to their condition of poverty, hunger, or simply the trials of daily life. The means of dealing with such problems implied by this concept is not so much to find the solution in things (e.g., food, clothing, Mt 6:25-34), but in the relationships of people caring for people in the same way God cares for his children. The theme of unity is emphasized in order that all persons of the church body should hold one another in the same mutual regard as Christ.

            God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for one another. 1 Corinthians 12:24-25.

Do Not Grumble To or About One Another. This admonition advises against grumbling, stenazo, which is to groan, moan, murmur, sigh, complain or express criticism against another in an intensive, persistent or excessive manner. All of these behaviors are products of a judgmental attitude, to which Scripture warns against the consequence of God’s own judgment (Mt 7:1).

            Don’t grumble against one another, brothers [and sisters], or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door. James 5:9.

 Do Not Slander One Another. To slander, katalaleo, is to speak against another person with the intent to harm their reputation, and often involves insult, gossip, or the outright speaking of lies or evil. Paul, fearful of the destructive power of slander as expressed by rebellious unbelievers, so warns the church of Corinth (2 Cor 12:20-21), for to slander is to convey hostility, a reflection of ungodliness. James forbids Christians to indulge in slander, for it is an expression of arrogance and disregard for others as well as an affront to God.

            Brothers [and sisters], do not slander one another. James 4:11.

 Edify One Another. For two or more people to edify, oikodomeo, one another is to diligently work to build up, strengthen or increase each other’s potential, in the cause of peace and harmony. The objective of edification is one of a continuous seeking to help, aid, improve, and refine one another much as “iron sharpens iron” (Prov 27:17), borne out of a sincere desire to be of service. This ministry is one of grace applied to mutual accountability, wherein the parties choose to set aside unproductive heart attitudes that might foster criticism or defensiveness. As edification speaks the truth in love (Eph 4:15), all concerned are progressively made free (Jn 8:32).

            Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to edify one another. Romans 14:19.

 Encourage One Another. Parakalein, to encourage or exhort, pertains to causing another to be built up, heartened, comforted or consoled, with reassuring words and physical embrasure. A similar thought is also found in 1 Thessalonians 5:14, regarding the building up of those who are timid or weak. These terms pertain to encouraging those who are diminished in motivation, limited in capacity or somehow incapable of attaining the goal of consistently adhering to the changed-life precepts of the gospel.

Giving encouragement was an integral part of the missionary activity of the apostles and the early church, and continues today to build up and soften wounded or hardened hearts, thereby equipping and releasing people for ministry. Encouragement is an expression of love that serves to enhance the close unity of all individuals involved. As we join with the Holy Spirit in the expression of heartfelt compassion and sympathy to one another, the foundation of the church body is built up and strengthened (Phil 2:1-2).

            …encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today (Hebrews 3:13-14)…encourage one another and build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11,14)…and let us consider how we may encourage another toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24.

 Fellowship with One Another. To have fellowship, koinonia, with others within the bond of Christ, is to recognize and participate deeply in the life of the church in the broader sense, and in one another’s lives on the more defined sense. Such fellowship encompasses the common giving or sharing of time, wisdom, words, prayer, or even finances or tangible goods, all to the service of the church body, the kingdom of God and the Lord himself. Within this fellowship of faith, created by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit, each member of the church body becomes a mutual participant and recipient in the body’s unity (c. Jn 17:23). Godly righteousness endued by the work of the cross and continued by the Holy Spirit provides the common ground for fellowship to exist and prosper.

            But if we walk in the light, as [God] is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7.

 Forgive One Another. This manner of forgiveness, charizomai, differs from the two other Greek words used for “forgiveness” (aphiemi, “to forgive a debt,” and paresis, “to let pass”), emphasizing the gracious giving of a free gift of favor or kindness on the basis of one’s Christ-like attitude for a fellow believer in Christ. To bestow such forgiveness imitates Christ’s own attitude in relating to other people, as contrasted to inappropriate or hurtful attitudes, most particularly that of anger.

            Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32.

 Greet One Another with a Holy Kiss. This manner of greeting, aspasthe…philema hagion can be described as an enthusiastic embrace or salutation, signifying a particular appreciation or affection for each other. The kiss, administered on the cheek, was a common form of greeting, particularly among Rabbis, and added to the joy of the occasion.  Considering today’s social norms, a warm and sincere greeting is probably appropriate, perhaps enjoined by a hug.

            Greet one another with a holy kiss. Romans 16:16; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Peter 5:14.

 Honor One Another. Giving honor, time, to another is to treat them with extraordinary respect, merit, esteem, worth, and value. To honor another person is give them appropriate and dignified recognition as having been created in the image of God. Implicit within this concept is a caution against despising or denigrating any class, gender, social position, and against holding tangible things (particularly those of value) in higher esteem than people.

            Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10.

 Live in Harmony with One Another. Harmony, homophronia, may be understood idiomatically as “having thoughts that follow the same path,” and pertains to being of the same mind, thus being united in spirit. The essence of such harmony is that all concerned share comparable attitudes and are wholly in agreement as to their beliefs, attitudes and conduct. Christians are admonished to give particular regard to one another’s feelings and relationships, treating them with the utmost consideration and sensitivity. Specifically, pride, arrogance, slander and vengeance are to be eliminated from Christian conduct, being obstructions to God’s blessings.

            …all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers [and sisters], be compassionate and humble. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9; Rom 12:16.

 Live Peacefully with One Another. The antithesis of strife, peace, eirene, sets forth criteria of tranquility, concord and harmony, thoroughly permeating the divine and human relationship. In the OT, the root meaning of peace, shalom, is “to be whole, to be sound, to be safe,” for which God alone is the provider. As such, peace, the very essence of the gospel (Eph 6:15) and the foundation of the Church (Rom 14:17f), powerfully contributes to the wholeness and sanctity of each believer (Mk 5:34). Combined with edification, such peace between believers serves not only as a vehicle for entry to the kingdom of God (Rom 14:17), but all manner of living therein.

            Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to edify one another. Romans 14:19.

 Love One Another. As God’s people love, agapao, one another, God’s own divine love is declared through his servant’s consciously choosing to express their sincere appreciation and high regard for each other for having been made spiritual brothers and sisters by Christ himself, giving recognition to each other as God’s personally “chosen one.”  To love in this manner is a call from Jesus Christ to all members of his Church to communicate fondness, respect and concern for one another, to express genuine pleasure, and to welcome one another with warmth and affection. To love in this manner witnesses to the honor and glory of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as a sign and proof of faith (Gal 5:6b; 1 Jn 3:10; 4:7-12).

As Jesus’ activity throughout his Church reveals the mercy and love of God, God’s law is fulfilled through Jesus’ death and resurrection. In that Jesus is love, so those who follow him love one another and thus fulfill the law in the same way as he does. This does not indicate that perfection has been achieved, but that those who love are now actively living in God’s new reality of the Kingdom of God through his sustaining power of grace and forgiveness, united as the community of Christ by his love (1 Cor 8:1; 2 Thess 1:3; Eph 4:16; Phil 2:1-2; Col 2:2-3).

            Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another (1 Thess 4:9); This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another (1 Jn 3:11); And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.  Those who obey his commands abide in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he abides in us: We know it by the spirit he gave us (1 Jn 3:23-24); May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for one another and for everyone else… (1 Thess 3:12); Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers [and sisters], love one another deeply, from the heart (1 Pet 1:22); Above all, love one another deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Pet 4:8-9); Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law (Rom 13:8); Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loves us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:7-12; cf. 2 John 5.

Practice Hospitality with One Another. Those who offer gracious hospitality welcome people who are not members of the extended family or close friends. This is done generously and with a warm, personal interest, taking care not to criticize or convey the idea that the guests are in any way troublesome or unwelcome.

            Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9.

 Practice Humility with One Another. Humility, tapeinos, idiomatically means “to walk without strutting” and pertains to the quality of behaving unpretentiously as a clear evidence of an absence of arrogance or pride.  It is this humility that acts as the very basis of voluntary servanthood, demonstrating an attitude of willingness to be of service to the cause of Christ, regardless of the cost. This particular passage indicates that a lack of humility may also act as an obstacle to God’s blessing.

            …clothe yourselves with humility toward one another … Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hands, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on [God] because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:5b.

 Pray for One Another. To pray, euchomai, for one another is to intercede by speaking to or making requests of God on behalf of another person, thus expressing priority and heartfelt concern for them (Mt 14:23).

            Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. James 5:16.

 Serve One Another. To serve, douleuo, embraces the idea of serving others in a humble manner, with much the same attitude of a slave, in response to their needs. To serve “as a slave” in this way acknowledges Jesus’ “ownership” (Rom 1:1; Gal 1:10), for his followers have been purchased at a price (1 Cor 6:20). Believers in Christ are called to forsake sin, independence and autonomy in response to the teachings and lordship of Jesus, allowing the unlimited power of God to provide direction and fulfillment for their lives. …serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13c.

Submit to One Another. Submission, hypotasso, requires that each believer make a conscious effort to live in humility and peace with everyone, voluntarily yielding in servanthood to the welfare of the other. To do so replicates the ministry and model of Jesus Christ, demonstrating our regard and devotion to him.

            Submit to one another out of reverence to Christ. Ephesians 5:21.

 Teach One Another. The injunction to teach, didasko, and admonish occurs in the imperative in Colossians 3:16, indicating that such lessons are exhortations, thus emphasizing their strength and importance; the wisdom of Jesus’ own words is not to be taken lightly. In the early church, this instruction was to be presented, repeated and learned through the ancient mnemonic technique of poetry set to music, resulting in the deep and lasting impartation of God’s spiritual truths.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all
wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16.






















The Qualifications for Servant-Leadership


Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.

                                                                                                  -Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 6:33

                              But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;

for it is written: ‘Be holy because I am holy.’

-Simon Peter of Galilee, 1 Peter 1:16


In doing the reading and researching for this work, it became apparent that the qualifications as set forth in 1 Thessalonians, Hebrews, 1 Timothy, Titus, and 1 Peter are not peculiar to any one of the specific offices, but apply equally to all who would follow Jesus Christ. These qualifications are simply guidelines for living the Christian life.


                                              Qualifications of Personal Character

Those serving in church leadership are to be:


Above Reproach, anepilepton, literally translates ‘not to be laid hold of,’ describing a person against whom it is impossible to bring any criticism or charge of unrighteousness, such as described in 1 Peter 1:13-20; 2:12-17; 3:8-9; 4:12-16.

This person is an outstanding and credible witness, obedient to God before any other person, system, or feeling; a person whose character and behavior is exemplified by righteousness and truth, whose life provides no avenue through which shame or dishonor may be reflected upon Jesus or his Church. [Elder: 1 Timothy 3:2].


Blameless, anegkleton, translates “without accusation” and pertains to one who cannot possibly be accused of anything wrong. Synonymous with ‘above reproach,’ both conditions must be established as fact before appointment to office can be effected. [Elder: Titus 1:7].

The blameless Christian will conduct himself in such a way that, even when criticized, the words will fail, for they contain no veracity. In such instances, the criticisms will serve to condemn only the critic as envious, ignorant or ill-informed. Being blameless is a reflection of one who consciously chooses to live a righteous life, to embrace, day by day, the Bible’s advice to understand and obey those admonitions for righteousness, forever conscious of the awful price that yielding to temptation to sin can take.


Disciplined (Temperate), egkrate, means “to exercise complete control over one’s desires and actions; to control oneself, to exercise self-control.”  Idiomatic equivalents could be ‘to hold oneself in;’ ‘to command oneself;’ ‘to be a chief of oneself;’ ‘to make one’s heart to be obedient;’ ‘to command one’s desires;’ ‘to be the master of what one wants;’ or ‘to say ‘No’ to the urges of one’s body.’ [Elder: Titus 1:8; cf. 2:2, Older Men].

Self-control, being a portion of the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), is given to all who embrace Christ as Savior and Lord. Therefore self-control is not something Christians lack, but may only be an attribute they fail to exercise.

The disciplined Christian does not give in to anger, lust, egotism, selfishness, or boasting not only in the arena of the church, but in the community, the workplace and at home as well. Self-control is their hallmark, for it is from this platform that they are able to minister in the midst of emotionally-charged situations without becoming enmeshed in fruitless arguments of who is right and who is wrong.  Rather, out of the peace that self-control produces, mercy, compassion,  kindness and grace may come to bear, as well as godly wisdom and justice.


Moderate (Worthy of Respect). Semnous pertains to being modest, not given to extremes but balanced and well-ordered in behavior, conduct, demeanor, appearance and attire. This term indicates appropriate, befitting behavior, implying dignity and respect. Scripture also admonishes believers to give respect to their leaders, holding them in high regard because of the work they are engaged in (1 Thess 5:12-13; cf. 1 Cor 16:15-16; Heb 13:7,17). [Older men: Titus 2:2; Deacon’s Wife: 1 Timothy 3:11].

The moderate Christian is one who chooses to avoid excesses in any area of conduct and faith that would devalue the word and work of Jesus. Choosing moderation, this person will avoid behaviors such as overeating, drunkenness, boisterousness, bragging, displaying wealth or overbearing zealotry in regard to doctrines, beliefs, or peoples. Rather, any argument should be well-thought out and presented with solid facts, rather than emotionally-based opinions, allowing the truth to prevail without resorting to forcefulness.


Not Given to Drunkenness or Much Wine. Paroinon literally means “not beside wine,” or “not in the cup.”  Servant-leaders must not be given to rowdy or unseemly behavior under the influence of alcohol, and must not be habitual or abusive drinkers. Since this admonition appears in four separate instances, its importance is apparent. [Elder: 1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7; Deacon: 1 Timothy 3:8; Older Women: Titus 2:3].

In the making of wine, grapes were placed in a large stone trough which men would tromp with their feet. The juice would flow through a channel in the bottom of the trough into a second trough or vat, where it would ferment and later strained.

Clearly, wine was a common beverage during Jesus’ time, both in ceremonial use and as the common drink at mealtime. Although beer and distilled spirits are not mentioned in the New Testament, there are a number of citations to ‘strong drink’ in the Old Testament, usually in the context of avoiding drunkenness. As such, these NT advisories do not prohibit the drinking of alcohol; they do, however, prohibit habitual drinking and drunkenness (cf. Ex 29:40).


Not Overbearing, me authade, refers to one who does not demonstrate a self-pleasing and arrogant disregard for the interests of others through self-will, pride and stubbornness. This is a person who is not overbearing and does not think himself better or superior than others, but demonstrates a consistently high level of respect, honor, integrity and grace to all people. [Elder: Titus 1:7].


Not Quarrelsome, me amachon, indicates a person who deliberately abstains from confrontation, contentiousness, combativeness, vengeance, vindictiveness, and fighting in the exercise of true meekness. Such a person does not insist on always being right but demonstrates a willingness to understand another’s views by listening to all sides of an issue and then gently instruct in the hope that God’s truth will prevail and thus bear fruit of peace, harmony, unity and forgiveness. [Elder: 1 Timothy 3:3; 2 Timothy 2:24-26].


Not Quick-Tempered, me orgilon, indicates one who is not easily or quickly given to anger as a response to difficult or frustrating relationships or situations. Rather, this is a person in whom peace and self-control are readily evident, particularly in times of heated discussion or emotion. [Elder: Titus 1:7].


Not Violent But Gentle, me plekten, lit. one who ‘is not a striker,’  this person is not violent, contentious, demanding, quarrelsome, or a bully, but gentle (epiekes) and easy to get along with. This person has no desire for retribution but is ‘sweetly reasonable’ in consistent kindness, consideration, compassion, mercy, grace, forbearance, and geniality; such a person is easy to befriend. [Elder: 1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7].


Respectable, kosmion, indicates, literally, those who are ‘orderly in their conduct,’ consistently demonstrating dependable modesty and good behavior, who have thus earned credibility and trust by modeling their lives after Christ. [Elder: 1 Timothy 3:2; Deacons 3:8].


Self-Controlled. Lit. ‘to behave in a sensible manner,’ sophrona is understood as ‘to let one’s mind guide one’s body.’  Such a person is restrained, moderate, meek, and stable of mind, and not explosive of temper or given to licentious or impulsive behavior. [Elder: 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; Older Men and Women: Titus 2:2-3].


Sincere.  Me dilogous, lit. ‘not double-tongued,’ idiomatically means ‘not two-faced’ or ‘not to speak in two directions.’  This admonishes servant-leaders not to engage in contradictory behavior based upon falseness, pretense or hypocrisy by saying something twice about the same subject, presenting one information set to one person and a separate and contradictory information set to another. [Deacon: 1 Timothy 3:8].


Sound in Endurance (Patience). Hupomone, endurance, pertains to the capacity to bear the tribulations of life and faith by using biblically sound rationale, principles and methods. This person consistently relies upon the teachings of Scripture in daily conduct and interaction with others. [Older Men: Titus 2:2].


Sound in Love. Love, agape, is based on sincere appreciation and high regard for God and for all others. This admonition calls for the quality of a servant-leaders expression of love to be without blemish or ulterior motive, but rather to be pure in inception, intent and application. [Older Men: Titus 2:2].


Temperate. Nephalion is an idiom for a person who ‘holds himself in’ or ‘one who always has a halter on himself.’ Such a person behaves in a sober, restrained way, and also includes one who is not an habitual drinker. [Elder: 1 Timothy 3:2; cf. Deacon: 3:8, Deacon’s Wives: 3:11].


Upright. Dikaion pertains to a person who conscientiously strives to be in accordance with what God requires. By being in right relationship with God, it follows that he will be in right relationship others as well. [Elder: Titus 1:8].


Qualifications for the Conduct of Faith

Able to Teach [Sound Doctrine]. Able to teach, didachtichon, indicates a person who has mastery of his subject, one who knows where to obtain answers to questions, who has demonstrated diligence in the study of Scripture, and whose ability to teach has been gained as result of prayerful meditation on, study of, and practical application of God’s word. This is likewise a person who remains teachable throughout his lifetime as a continuing credible witness. [Elder: 1 Timothy 3:2; cf. 2 Timothy 2:24].

Holders of the Truths of Faith with Clear Consciences. This phrase was originally directed toward those disciples who were ‘custodians of the ‘mystery’ of the faith’ (the secret of salvation through Christ revealed through the Holy Spirit to all who would believe), but has been expanded to include those candidates for servant-leadership who demonstrate righteousness, purity of conscience and faith, ability to teach sound doctrine, to refute opposers, and are already engaged in some aspect of ministry. [Elder: Titus 1:9; Deacon: 1 Timothy 3:9].


Holy, hosion, denotes personal piety, an inner attitude of conforming to what is pleasing to God and consistent with religious practices. This term pertains to being holy in the sense of maintaining superior moral qualities and certain essentially divine qualities in contrast with what is human. [Elder: Titus 1:8; cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:1f; 1 Peter 1:11-2].


Lovers and Teachers of What is Good. This inclusive phrase addresses a person in whom his concepts, deeds and behaviors reflect God’s righteousness; this likewise includes people he associates with and may even extend to include certain objects that honor the Lord. This is a person whose life is a ‘living lesson’ as he follows and embodies the teachings of Jesus. [Elder: Titus 1:8; Older Women: 2:3].


Not Recent Converts, me neophyton, lit. ‘not newly planted,’ indicates a person who is not a neophyte but is mature in faith. Familiar with the principles and work of service, this is a person who is faithful and well-grounded in the Scriptures, who diligently guards himself against conceit and pride which ‘lead to the same judgment as the devil.’ [Elder: 1 Timothy 3:6].


Reverent in the Conduct of Life. Reverent, ieroprepeis, can be understood as ‘religious, devout, or pious,’ and pertains to being devoted to proper expression of Christian faith and belief. [Older Women: Titus 2:3].


Shepherds of God’s Flock (see ‘Pastor-Shepherd,’ p. 22 ff). To shepherd God’s flock, one must have sufficient knowledge of God’s word, principles, will and work in order to ascribe to this aspect of leadership, and to foster the kind of trust necessary for a healthy leadership to function within the body. Shepherds are called to be persons not only of vision, but of direction and application, understanding not only where God wishes to take the flock, but how the flock is to function in its service to God (Act 28ff). [Elder: 1 Peter 5:2].


Sound in Faith. Soundness, hugiainontas, pertains to being accurate and correct in matters of faith, as well as useful and beneficial. ‘Faith’ in this context pertains not only to that which is trustworthy and reliable, but that which is completely believable. This concept reaches a broader understanding of being wholly accurate about the Christian faith, thus witnesses to the entirety of faith as a Christian virtue. Such faith reproduces trust, faith, faithfulness and reliability, i.e., the word and work of Jesus. [Older Men: Titus 2:2].


Tested, dokimazesthosan, can be understood as ‘a test,’ ‘to prove by testing.’ or ‘to approve as the result of testing.’  It is possible that Paul had all these notions in mind when he wrote his instructions, all or any of which would demonstrate the maturity of the candidate. It is presumable that the ‘testing’ of the deacons and other servant-leaders would have been done by the elders; should anything be found against the candidate, then disqualification would certainly be a possible result. [Deacon: 1 Timothy 3:10].


Those Who Refute Others Who Oppose Sound Doctrine. Christian truth, from time to time, requires defense against attacks. One of the roles of a mature follower of  Christ is to be sufficiently well-versed in Scripture so as to present such a defense with effectiveness. [Elder: Titus 1:9].


Trustworthy Stewards of God’s Work. Oichonomon indicates a person who has been entrusted with the management and administration of God’s word and work for the church. [Elder: Titus 1:7].


                                  Qualifications for Family & Community Conduct

Encouragers of Others by Sound Doctrine. Servant-leaders must be those, who, in holding firmly to the authority of Scripture (even in the face of false teachings or open opposition), use their positions of servant-leadership to encourage the faith and Christian growth of those over whom they have leadership. They are called to adhere to God’s word as taught by, and in accordance with the teaching of the apostles. Infidelity, negligence, or manipulation of revealed biblical truths disqualifies a man or woman for church leadership, whereas doctrinal fidelity will give them a standing ability to perform a twofold task: First, they are to “encourage others by sound doctrine” by appealing to them to likewise be faithful to Scripture as the means for their own personal growth as Christians, and Secondly, they are to refute those who oppose the true gospel by disclosing their error to them in a gentle and convincing way. [Elder: Titus 1:9].


Good Family Managers, with Obedient and Respectful Children. Those who exercise effective management of their families exemplify godly living, setting realistic biblical priorities and place the importance of family over work, chores, other people, service, sports, entertainment, or recreation. In this way, effective family guidelines embracing love, nurture, kindness, mercy, compassion, grace, tolerance, acceptance, consideration, thoughtfulness, respect, and fairness are amply provided. Good family managers provide for the needs of the family as effective stewards of the family resources. They are also effective in negotiating family disputes by providing opportunities for discussion, while remaining able to listen and take criticism or rebuke, and to justly administer discipline.

Good family managers are not ashamed to be Christians. They refrain from making excuses and blaming others (particularly family members) for problems or difficulties by acting in judgmental, accusative, dictatorial, tyrannical, harsh, punitive, or abusive ways.

The biblical admonitions for the children of a Servant-Leader are intended for those who are old enough to make a personal decision for Christ. They are not to be uncontrolled or disobedient, refusing to bow to parental authority, but rather to be obedient in their faith to God and Christ, and to their parents.

The qualifications here, as established by Paul, indicate that those servant-leaders who cannot manage their own homes cannot be expected to give proper care to God’s church. [Elder: 1 Timothy 3:4-5; Titus 1:6; Deacon: 1 Timothy 3:12].


Hospitable, philoxenon, is literally translated as ‘loving strangers’ and indicates a person who is generous to guests, granting hospitality to all who enter the home or church without complaint. [Elder: 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8].


Husbands of One Wife. The meaning of this statement has been the subject of debate for centuries, and while the issue continues to remain under contention, its scope is worthy of consideration.

Traditional Christianity espouses the understanding of this qualification as indicating married men only for positions of elder and pastor, but it is possible that this qualification is neither an admonition that church leaders must exclusively be men, nor that they must be married; it is also possible that is it not an exclusion to single, divorced, or widowed persons, although to a lesser degree (Rom 7:2-3; 1 Cor 7:39; 1 Tim 5:14).

In Matthew 19:12, Jesus challenges believers to pursue celibacy both for the good of the Kingdom and in response to his command to take up the cross daily and follow him. In 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, Paul states that celibacy is a desirable qualification for those who care for the things of the Lord. This being the case, it would appear that neither Jesus nor Paul excluded qualified single men from positions of leadership. Also, strict adherence to the concept that a leader must be married would have disqualified Jesus himself, as well as Barnabas and Paul, who appear to have ministered and served as single men.

Further, it is worth appraising Paul’s admonition to Timothy (1 Tim 3:2,12) as more a call to moral fidelity than an exclusion of gender or marital status, perhaps indicating that should a leader be married, he or she must maintain fidelity to one spouse. Understanding the injunction in this way is not inconsistent with the moral and ethical guidelines for church leaders as set down by Paul and Peter, and seems to relate closely to the idea that candidates for leadership must first be tested, demonstrating their merit as a potential elder or deacon within their own family unit by living up to the qualifications with their own mate and children, the marriage and family being the ground in which the testing first takes place.

Syntactically, it would appear that Paul assumed that since elders, by definition, were chosen from among the older men of the congregation, they would also be married and have children. Additionally, in 1 Timothy 3:11, the Greek word gyne can mean either ‘woman’ or ‘wife’; while the possessive pronoun ‘their’ is missing in the Greek, the most likely reference is to ‘wife’ based on the following context of v. 12.

However, considering that no women ever appear in Scripture as priests, apostles or elders, the position of traditional Christianity that these offices are to be filled only by men must be given credence. This issue is best satisfied by further study and resolution within individual church bodies. [Elder: 1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:6; Deacon: 1 Timothy 3:12].


Not Lording it Over Those in Their Trust. This manner of service requires that it not be done in a domineering manner, which precludes an authoritarian hierarchy in which leaders might hold themselves as superior to others. Jesus spoke of the fact that such a leadership style was the way of the world (Mk 10:42), and that those who are called to leadership of his flock are to be examples of servanthood (Mk 10:42-45; Jn 13:16-18; 15:20; cf. Jn 10:16; 17:11). Paul furthered this thought, proscribing relationships within Christ and the Church not to be authoritarian in nature (1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:28-29; Col 3:11; cf. Joel 2:29; Eph 2:14-15).

Trust between the body of believers and their servant-leaders is imperative, for should the body find they cannot give full reliance to any one of their leaders due to an authoritarian, dictatorial or domineering attitude, then that leadership will fail to bear a credible witness or produce ‘good fruit’ for the body, for Christ, and for the honor and glory for God. [Elder: 1 Peter 5:3].


Of Good Repute with Outsiders. Repute, marturia, lit. ‘to speak well of,’ indicates a person who cannot be criticized or judged for ungodly, unethical, immoral behavior. Righteous, just, honorable, and respectful of all persons, they are of consistent high character, good reputation, do not fall into disgrace or sexual sin, and continually keep God first, conducting their life as a witness to Christ. [Elder: 1 Timothy 3:7].


Of Service with Eager, Willing Attitudes. Prothumos pertains to being eager and willing to engage in the tasks and responsibilities of servant-leadership. This concept counsels servant-leaders to place themselves at God’s service, sacrificially. Peter admonishes servant-leaders to serve with earnest spirits of voluntarism, viewing the responsibility as a privilege rather than an onerous burden. [Elder: 1 Peter 5:2].


                                          Qualifications for Financial Stewardship

Not Greedy for Money but Eager to Serve. This admonition differs somewhat in context from that of ‘not a lover of money.’ Elders of the primitive church served in return for a stipend, but Peter was careful to admonish them not to turn such service into a business. The motive for service was never to become the temporal financial reward, but the heavenly reward to come (v. 4). If the focus and attitude of the elders to serve God first and foremost is done with eagerness, zeal, energy, and enthusiasm, then the tendency toward the opposite and more calculating attitude required to consider money first will be precluded. [Elder: 1 Peter 5:2].


Not Lovers of Money. ‘Not a lover of money,’ me aphilargyron, indicates a person who is devoted to God and truly places God well above the use of, and desire for money. Such a person is humble in regard to money and is not greedy for money. This person does not use money to test God, particularly through excess tithes and offerings, and does not give to church for wrong motives or use money to show off (Lk 16:13). [Elder: 1 Timothy 3:3].


Not Pursuant of Dishonest Gain. Aischrokerde stipulates one who can be trusted not to misuse the office or responsibility of servant-leader in order to profit in an underhanded or shameful way. [Elder: Titus 1:7; Deacon: 1 Timothy 3:8].


                                         Qualifications for Servant-Leader’s Wives

Moderate. See Moderate, above. [Deacon’s wife: 1Timothy 3:11]


Not Given to Drunkenness or Much Wine. See above. [Older women: Titus 2:3]


Not Malicious Talkers. Diabolous signifies a person who does not betray confidences or engage in gossip, malicious slander or make false accusations. Slander and gossip are often indicators of personal unhappiness and dissatisfaction, particularly at home, and, as such, would tend to obstruct the ministry of a church leader and marriage partner. This injunction also guards against the possibility of an elder or deacon sharing confidential information concerning a church member with his mate, understanding and respecting that such information must remain completely confidential. [Deacon’s wife: 1 Timothy 3:11; Older women: Titus 2:3].


Temperate. See Temperate, above. [Deacon’s wife: 1 Tim 3:11]


Trainers of Younger Women on How to:

            Be Busy at Home. Oikourous indicates one who works in, or takes care of, the home; a homemaker. [Older Women: Titus 2:3].


            Be Good, or Kind. Agathas indicates a person having positive attitudinal and moral qualities of a general nature, e.g., goodness, honesty, kindness, respect, etc. This implies their ability to engage in intrapersonal relationships in which the focus of greater good is always for the other person. [Older Women: Titus 2:3].


            Be Pure, Chaste. Agnas, expressed idiomatically, can be ‘to have a clean heart’ or ‘not to have other thoughts,’ or ‘to not cover up one’s real desires;’ this admonition pertains to being without moral defect or blemish. [Older Women: Titus 2:3].


            Be Self-Controlled. See Self-Controlled, above. [Older women: Titus 2:2-3]


            Be Subject to their Husbands. To subject oneself, hypotassomenas, pertains to a person who willingly conforms to the direction of another, making a choice to conduct one’s self obediently and without challenge, conflict, or a desire to usurp leadership. [Older Women: Titus 2:3].


            Love Their Husbands and Children. Philandrous (love of husband) and philoteknous (love of children) pertain to having warm and consistent affection for one’s husband and offspring. [Older women: Titus 2:3].


Trustworthy. Pistas pertains to one who is faithful, trustworthy and reliable, one who can be depended on to be a support and confidant to the servant-leader. [Deacon’s wife: 1 Timothy 3:11].


The Offices of Servant-Leadership

            “Anyone who sets his heart on being a leader in the Church desires a noble task.”

                                                                         -Paul of Tarsus, 1 Timothy 3:1 (paraphrase)


To fulfill certain leadership aspects of God’s word and work, Scripture establishes four offices of the church for providing leadership to the ministry that Jesus began, that of advancing the Kingdom of God. Each office – deacon, overseer, elder, and pastor – is distinct from the other, but all share the unified goal of building the church in accordance with Jesus’ instructions.


The Deacon

The office of deacon prescribes avenues of ministry in which a person serves God in particular, even special, ways, as a response to his or her anointing, calling, and giftedness. The Greek diakonos, ‘deacon,’ defines this office as ‘the servant or helper of someone,’ clearly calling for a servant-relationship of that person’s work or ministry. In comparison, the other Greek word for servant, doulos, is defined in relationship to his or her master.

Scripturally, a deacon may be either a male or female ministrant who serves responsibly as they care for the needs of the church and community, in consonance with their spiritual gifts (e.g., Ac 6:1-7). The actual areas of ministry and service in which deacons may be engaged are discussed in the preceding pages. [1 Timothy 3:8-13; cf. Acts 6:1-7; Philippians 1:1 ff]


The Bishop-Overseer and The Elder

The Bishop-Overseer. Variously translated as ‘overseer,’ ‘guardian’ and ‘bishop,’ the word episkopos literally means ‘one who looks upon.’  Overseers are charged with the active and responsible care for their areas of oversight (Ac 20:28-29; Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:7). Used to describe Jesus himself as the shepherd and overseer of your souls (1 Pet 2:25), the term sets the tone for the nature and quality of ministry as a person who has been sent forth for servanthood after the manner of Jesus Christ. Acts 20:17 strongly indicates that overseer (episkopos) and elder (presbyteros) are synonymous for the same person or office, an “elder-bishop” or “elder-overseer.”  The shift from “elder” to “overseer” in Titus 1:7 further substantiates the terms as interchangeable, but with slightly different connotations: elder implies a qualitative maturity and dignity of the man, while bishop quantitatively signifies his work as “overseer” of God’s flock (c. 1 Pet 2:25). Significantly, elders  were appointed (c. Ac 14:23) to ‘rule’ or ‘stand over’ the flock (1 Tim 5:17).

While Scripture provides few specific job descriptions for the servant-leader offices, probably because no institutionalized or precisely differentiated offices had yet emerged in the Church, it appears that overseers are called and appointed to serve as a leaders in a church, applying both service and leadership to the responsibilities of preaching and teaching (1 Tim 5:17), caring for the needs of the congregation and directing the activities of the membership. Overseers are also charged to be equally diligent in their personal oversight and that of their families, as well as God’s flock (Ac 20:28-29). [1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:7-9]


Presbyteriate: The Elder. From the Greek presbytes meaning ‘old man,’ the term presbyteros is translated as ‘elder’ (or sometimes as ‘old leader’), and has historically been understood as a ‘spokesman,’ ‘head,’ or ‘ambassador,’ as found in 2 Corinthians 5:20: We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.

Partially based on the presumption that with old age comes wisdom, ‘elder’ speaks of a person who is mature in the Christian faith and is gifted and skilled in the execution of authority and responsibility. During the time of Christ and the apostles, no one was qualified to serve as an elder until they had achieved at least the age of fifty.

Elders, both as a group and as individuals, were granted honor, credence and obedience by the Church, not so much because of their age but because of their genuine expression of care and concern, and because of their response to the calling of the Holy Spirit (Act 20:28; Heb 13:7,11; 1 Pet 5:1-2). As men exemplified the mature, personal and moral character for eldership with lives changed by Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Tim 3:2f; Tit 1:9f), they were individually selected from the congregation and appointed by church leaders (c. Act 14:23), that office thereby being conferred on them by the laying on of hands. From this pool of mature and equipped men, teachers and preachers were subsequently drawn (1 Tim 5:17). Their work within the Church exemplified and enhanced unity, love, humility, fellowship and a healthy, functional interdependency in Christ’s ministry.

Elders were called by the Holy Spirit, recognized by the Church, and entrusted with God’s work (Tit 1:7) to shepherd, care for and give oversight to God’s church (Ac 20:28; 1 Tim 3:5). They were called to work diligently in the Spirit (Ac 20:35) as they directed the affairs of church (1 Tim 5:17), admonished the body (1 Thess 5:12), guarded against false prophets (Ac 20:31), and prayed for the sick (Jas 5:14). They were also commissioned with the tasks of exhorting and refuting those who made objections to the faith, notably in the administration of Christian and Jewish socio-religious concerns (Mt 26:57; Ac 20:17). Rather than functioning individually, it was as a unified team that the elders served and ministered, delegating responsibilities where appropriate (Ac 4:32-37; 6:1-7; cf. Ex 18). [Matthew 26:57; Acts 4:32-37; 6:1-7; 20:17, 28, 31; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; James 5:14; 1 Timothy 3:2-5; 5:17; Titus 1:6-9].


The Pastor-Shepherd

Synonymous with ‘bishop’ well into the fourth century, the Greek word for shepherd, poimaino, translates as one who ‘herds and tends the flocks; to take care of, to tend, to pasture.’ Biblically, the term also infers Jesus Christ himself and those who follow his example – disciples – in ministering to new churches that were growing in the Christian faith. Pastors are specifically called to fulfill their love for the Lord by feeding and tending his ‘lambs’ and ‘sheep’ (Jn 10; 21:15-19; Ac 20:28; Eph 4:11; Heb 13:20-21; 1 Pet 5:2).

The many tasks of the shepherd are to:

  • provide for the needs of the flock (Ps 23:1)
  • maintain a steadfast loving and nurturing relationship between shepherd and flock


  • see that each member of the flock is provided with spiritual rest and restoration

when they are weary (v.2)

  • see that the spiritual ‘food’ and ‘water’ for the flock is pure and righteous,

untainted by confusion, sin or worldliness (v.2)

  • ensure that the love of God is first and foremost in the life of the flock (vv.2,3)
  • ensure that the flock is guarded against the harm of heresy and unrighteousness


  • ensure that, should any member of the flock stray, they are granted grace, lovingly

disciplined and returned to the flock (v.3)

  • ensure that the fears and doubts of each individual member of the flock is

appropriately and effectively ministered to

  • ensure that the flock is made secure and safe, dwelling well within the confines of

sound teaching and doctrine (v.4)

  • ensure that the spiritual health of the flock is maintained, uncontaminated by

heresy (v.4)

  • act as a peacemaker, mediating disputes or misunderstandings within the flock


  • ensure that the word, work, and will of Jesus Christ issuing through the shepherd,

flock, and church are evidenced in the community (v.5)

  • ensure that the blessings received from God are acknowledged as such, with

thanksgiving (vv.5,6)

  • accurately provide the truth regarding the reality of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy

Spirit in both the temporal and eternal understanding (v.6).

[Psalm 23: John 10; 21:15-19; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11; Hebrews 13:20-21; 1 Peter 5:2]


Servant-Leadership Offices in Our Church Today

In today’s church, the servant-leadership offices for continuing the ministry of Jesus are found within the offices of (1) Elder (of whom the pastor is one), whose responsibility is to oversee the spiritual direction and life of the body, and (2) Deacons, whose responsibilities are to attend to the needs of the church body and the community at large. While deacons can be appointed by the church, clearly any person who attends to the needs of others

In essence, Moses’ instructions to the Israelite’s on the verge of their crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land cover the purpose of servant-leadership: Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble you and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands (Deut 8:2).


In other words, what are you going to do with what God has given you?



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Barker, Kenneth, ed. The New International Version Study Bible. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1985)

Barnett, James J., The Diaconate. (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1981)

Bromiley, Geoffrey W., ed. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE). (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1979)

Brown, Colin, ed., The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1975, 1986)

Davids, Peter H. The First Epistle of Peter: The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. F.F. Bruce. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990)

Gaebelein, Frank E., gen. ed., Expositor’s Bible Commentary. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984)

Louw, Johannes P. & Eugene A. Nida, eds. The Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1988)

Packer, James I., Merrill C. Tenney & William White Jr, The Bible Almanac. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1980)

Vine, W.E., Vine’s Expository Dictionary. (Old Tappan, N.J., Fleming H. Revell Co., 1981)