The Aim Of A Better Man

So in 1 Timothy 3, the first seven verses lay out a list of qualifications for elders in the church. And I am going to spend the next two weeks unpacking this list. I am going to address each quality one at a time. And I want to go slow through this list for three reasons. First, we need men with character in our homes, churches, businesses, and world (including government and politics). Second, I want men, young and old, to be inspired to be men of greater character (this includes my sons). Third, we need to sharpen our character regularly against the grindstone of God's Word (this includes me). So my goal with this list is threefold: develop, inspire, and sharpen men.

In verses one through seven, we will identify fourteen qualifications. I know there are more in Titus, but this is not a study in Titus, so we will not reference those. But before I read this list, let's clarify what a qualification is. Qualifications are proficiencies in process or completed that make someone suitable for a job or activity. For example, when you are looking for a job, there is usually a list of qualifying factors that an employer declares before you apply. These qualifications are told to you beforehand, so if necessary, you can qualify or disqualify yourself.

And for a second, I want to address the disqualification issue because I think Christian men are really good at disqualifying themselves. If disqualification were a qualification, most of us would be very qualified. I believe this is especially true when it comes to spiritual leadership. But instead of so quickly disqualifying yourself when I read this list, I want you — that's every man listening — to hear each of these qualifications in the aspirational sense. As we work through the list, I want you to reject the voice of disqualification and embrace the aspirational spirit of that quality. I want you to aspire to it. Because I think Paul has three intentions for this list. I think he gives this list to Timothy to disqualify some, qualify others, and inspire others.

So here are the 14 qualifications for leaders in the church:

Therefore an overseer must be 1 above reproach, 2 the husband of one wife, 3 sober-minded, 4 self-controlled, 5 respectable, 6 hospitable, 7 able to teach, 8 not a drunkard, 9 not violent but gentle, 10 not quarrelsome, 11 not a lover of money. He must 12 manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must 13 not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be 14 well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. — 1 Timothy 3:1-7

So you did it, didn't you? You disqualified yourself as soon as I read one of the qualifications here. You might have even done it more than one time. Stop doing that. For our study, I want you to stop doing that. Okay? The nature of this list draws attention to our sins. That's what it's intended to do. It draws attention to our shortcomings and aspirations in five different areas.

  1. Public character.
  2. Marital commitment.
  3. Personal attributes.
  4. Leadership acumen.
  5. Faith development.

And, fellas, we will never be perfect in all these areas. If we could be perfect, there would be no need for Jesus. But we are not perfect. We are fallen men, redeemed by Christ. We are moving from one degree of glory to the next, learning how to develop in each of these areas every day. And we shouldn't disqualify and dismiss but aspire to do better. Now there might be something you have done in this life that will disqualify you from church leadership forever. But this doesn't mean you are disqualified as a child of God or that you cannot be used differently in the church. And it definitely does not mean God doesn't want to use us for impact in this life. It might only mean that you can not bear the title and role of leader in the church as Paul intends here. So we shouldn't turn our back on the aspirational nature of this list because it can and will impact how we live in these five areas of our lives — our character, commitment, attributes, leadership, and faith. So let's get after it.

ASK THIS: Which item on the list do you feel disqualifies you from leadership in the church?

DO THIS: Aspire to grow in this area.

PRAY THIS: God, I want to be the man you desire me to be.

PLAY THIS: Better Man.

short | practical | biblical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

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Good stuff Vince! 1 Timothy lays it out and puts it in our faces what it takes to be a man! Tough to follow at times ? Yes, but we must strive to achieve and hit the mark without excuses. Excuses , like an _ _ _ hole , everyone has one and they all stink! I find it sad that when we have a once a month men’s bible study, that it only seems like the same four men show up. Granted we have a very small church, but it’s sad that males are not stepping up. I heard it once said, you are born a male but, you are made a man!



Whether it’s at work, at home, volunteering or just out and about. The more comfortable I am with myself and who He made me to be, the better leader I become. Wether it be by word or by deed. Working on that first step, which is to just step up and fill in the gap.

Eddie Ackerman

Above reproach, self-controlled, quarrelsome, and household management seem to be the things that I need to aspire to be more like Christ, but currently am not close enough to confidently say I QUALIFY to lead in church. However, I look back at the leaders in the history of Israel, and I am comforted to know that NONE of them, besides Jesus who never officially took that role on earth, were perfect. ALL of the past leaders of God’s CHOSEN people were flawed, so I am in good company when I reflect on my flaws and submit to God and accept His grace that I can NEVER earn.

Darin P

I agree with Trent on the submissive household. I have a 13 year old stepson who thinks he’s already a man, how do I stay calm at that moment when he’s a “snot” and disrespectful to both his mom and I! Some days are a real struggle!

Tom Waller

Good morning brothers in Christ. Vince what are the two things that forever disqualify.

David Josker

God, I want to be the man you desire me to be.

Cory D

Seems #1 cuts a pretty wide swath, for who among us is above reproach? Great stuff, looking forward to the next 2 weeks!


The submissive house hold part is what “disqualifies” me. The 2 boys left in my house pay little to no mind to what I try to tell them. Or so it seems. A tight ship my household is not. More like a shaky row boat with cargo falling in the water.


Oh I am not goiing anywhere. See the quotation marks? That was my response of what TRIES to disqualify me in my mind. However I have learned to recognize and dismiss firey darts. GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN! I shall continue to run my race.


If you haven’t done so already, try and get them around men of God, like a men’s breakfast, retreats? I am certainly no expert in this area but just some thoughts.


Thanks. I am not sure why I never really thought of that. I am going to see if a door opens to make that happen!

Mike Roberto

The first qualification is having one wife. What if you are forever single. Choosing this as the best spiritual path for you. Does this disqualify you? Paul also wrote that it was better to be single is this a contradiction?


I have looked into and asked about this extensively. I want to give an idea of a response to your question. Not an end all answer mind you, but a direction to look in seeking your answer. Here is something I was pointed towards. Poligamy was an issue at the time. A man of one wife could very well mean not a man married to many wives at the same time. I am no Bible scholar but we’re I you, I would not take this instruction as “one must marry to lead”. But the word is living and will speak to you. Dig in and seek your answer.

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