This saying is reliable: if anyone has a goal to be a supervisor in the church, they want a good thing. So the church’s supervisor must be without fault. They should be faithful to their spouse, sober, modest, and honest. They should show hospitality and be skilled at teaching. They shouldn’t be addicted to alcohol or be a bully. Instead, they should be gentle, peaceable, and not greedy. They should manage their own household well—they should see that their children are obedient with complete respect, because if they don’t know how to manage their own household, how can they take care of God’s church? They shouldn’t be new believers so that they won’t become proud and fall under the devil’s spell. They should also have a good reputation with those outside the church so that they won’t be embarrassed and fall into the devil’s trap. In the same way, servants in the church should be dignified, not two-faced, heavy drinkers, or greedy for money. They should hold on to the faith that has been revealed with a clear conscience. (1 Timothy 3:1-9, CEB)
I read this passage in the Common English Bible above and thought this seems a little stranger, or different than I remember it being in the past. SO I went and read a few verses in the NRSV, the usually translation used by the denomination I serve, and I was reminded what this is about.
Supervisor is a translation of Bishop. Honestly, I think this passage sets up Bishops and pastors to be something they can not be.
Bishops should be beyond reproach and their families also. We are all human and can not be beyond reproach. We can strive to be a follower of Jesus and love all people and do all the right things, but we all will fail, and to say that the leaders we follow in the church have to be perfect is not helpful.
Know that those who lead the church are people just like the rest of us. Church leaders make mistakes and need forgiveness. Church leaders will fail.
But their conscience could be one that always seeks goodness for all.
Love as you go, and know we all need to be reminded that God loves us.
Loving People. Loving God.