Spiritual Leadership

Study 1Timothy 3:1-7, below:

3:1 This saying is trustworthy: “If someone aspires to the office of overseer,he desires a good work.” 3:2 The overseer then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, 3:3 not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money. 3:4 He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity.3:5 But if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for the church of God? 3:6 He must not be a recent convert or he may become arrogant and fall into the punishment that the devil will exact.3:7 And he must be well thought of by those outside the faith,so that he may not fall into disgrace and be caught by the devil’s trap.


This week we want to study this passage of scripture. This passage not only describes the qualifications of a leader, but also helps us to tangibly see Godly characteristics. A leader becomes a spiritual leader when Jesus Christ captures his heart and mind. Let’s look at how some of these characteristics demonstrate a heart and mind captured by Christ.

Inside the Church-Above reproach means character so reputable, that no detractor could find an opening to attack. Ironclad character.

Outside the Church-The character of a leader “should command the respect of the unbeliever, inspire his confidence, and arouse his aspirations.”

The spiritual leader should be of unchangeable morality. A leader cannot compromise their morals easily or be hypocritical between their personal lives and public profession.

A leader must be prudent, meaning “a well-balanced state of mind resulting from habitual self-restraint.”

“A well-ordered life is the fruit of a well-ordered mind. The life of the leader should reflect the beauty and orderliness of God.”

Teaching is an ability a leader must have as it creates opportunities to help others understand the meaning of life.

Leaders must not love controversy, as strife does not unify the body.

Hospitality is a disposition of privilege to serve others.

A leader must be able to order his/her own home. We must not neglect our families. We are first to be faithful in our mission at home, prior to outside the home.

Our heart and vision for serving God cannot be compartmentalized. Our families must be as much a part of our mission as anyone else.

Like plants, disciples “need time to take root and come to maturity. This process cannot be hurried. Seedlings must take root downward, before they can bear fruit upward.”

I’m sure that you can find more truth and application in this passage. But how does all this apply to you and I? Which area(s) do you need to grow? As you apprentice, which area(s) do they most need to grow? How are you going to go about that growth in yourself and your apprentice?

Much of this material was taken from “Spiritual Leadership” by J. Oswald Sanders, Chapter 6.



What is your definition of a disciple?

Using Matthew 4:19, let’s define a disciple in three parts.

“Follow me”

“I will make you”

“fishers of men”

What does it mean for someone to be following Jesus?

What does it look like for us to be transformed by Jesus?

How do we fish for men?

This material comes directly from the “Real-Life Discipleship Training Manual,” Week 2, Day 1. For more information regarding this topic reference that book of “Real-Life Disciple” by Jim Putman.