President of LifeWay commissions pastors to shepherd family and church

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Opening his message, Rainer said, “If you were to fall into the statistic today, 70% of you will eventually leave the ministry in the years to come, and one of the primary reasons is due to family problems.”

In 1 Timothy 3:1-7, said Rainer, Paul is giving to Timothy the qualifications of the overseer, the pastor. In the middle of these verses, Rainer noted, it seems as if Paul is saying to all called to the pastorate, “Before you take another test, or another step in the church, take a time out! How is your family? How are you leading your family? How are you really doing?”

Echoing Paul, Rainer said that the pastor who manages his household well and with dignity is one who will manage God’s church well.

Rainer said, “Paul tells Timothy that the pastor must manage his home well and this responsibility must not be assumed by others in the church. Such management conjures up the idea of authority, but this is not some autocratic government, but a loving of one’s spouse and one’s children that you will lead them well. 

“This leadership is to be made visible to others outside the home. And the household Paul is referring to does not mean only one’s family but anything and everything related to the home: finances, virtues, leadership, etc.”

In context of 1 Timothy 3, Paul says that the pastor is to manage and control his household and his children in all dignity. Rainer said that another characteristic of the pastor is how he controls his children. 

Rainer said, “The word ‘control’ here is a military term, which speaks of respect, not due to some dictatorship. Ultimately, the children honor the parents because they respect and love their parents. So, pastors and future pastors, ‘What do your children see you doing? Opening your Bible and praying with your spouse? Or watching television or talking about less important things? Are you leading your children in daily Bible readings and teachings?’”

Rainer said that pastors can misunderstand Paul’s challenge in verse five. Paul is not saying that you either tend to your family or to the church, Rainer said. “Paul is saying that the pastor’s role is to minister to one’s family as he shepherds Christ’s church. The patterns you are establishing now,” closed Rainer, “are likely the patterns you will have throughout life.”

To watch the message, click here.

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