Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

 Sermon Text: 1 Timothy 3:1-7

 Other Readings: Amos 7:10-17 and Mark 6:7-13


Note: What Paul here calls an “overseer” we call a pastor. To read on other areas of public ministry (publicly preaching or teaching the gospel on behalf of other Christians) within our synod, click HERE.


  1. What is the first qualification of an overseer in God’s church? Why is that so important (cf. v. 6)?
  2. What is the only qualification listed here which does not relate to an overseer’s character?
  3. How does our synod show that she takes these qualifications seriously?
  4. What makes public ministry “a noble task”?
  5. Can you think of someone in your family or congregation who should consider training for public ministry? Think of one way you can encourage that person and say a prayer for that person right now.

  1. The overseer (again, what we call a pastor) is to be “above reproach”. That doesn’t mean he is perfect, but it does mean that he is “beyond criticizing” because he has no major or public flaws in his character and conduct. That is important so that the average person inside and outside the congregation can trust him.
  2. The only qualification which speaks to ability is “the ability to teach” (v. 2).
  3. Our synod has a thorough training system for pastors, teachers, and staff ministers. This system not only trains our called workers how to teach the word in their ministries but also gives them time to mature spiritually so that their personal conduct meets the qualifications here. 
  4. For one, those in ministry get to “work” in “God’s church” (v. 5); the holy God gives them the honor of overseeing his church. Secondly, the ministry gives people the opportunity to serve souls in their best and worst times, an intimate experience few get.
  5. Answers will vary based on personal experience. God bless you as you encourage young men and women to at least consider public ministry!