What happens in a person's private life affects his job or his public ministry. Someone may argue, "But my private life and my home life don't have anything to do with my ministry at the church, my ability to serve, or how I perform at work. You have no right to dig into my personal life."
This way of thinking is wrong. What happens in a person's private life spills over into his public life. What goes on behind closed doors in a leader's home will tell you exactly what kind of blessings or problems he will bring to his public ministry or job. This is precisely why the apostle Paul urged Timothy to take a deeper look at the personal life of a potential leader before inviting him to be a part of his leadership team (see 1 Timothy 3:4,5). You see, God designed the home as a honing instrument for many of the qualities required to be a leader in the Kingdom of God.
Paul told Timothy that a leader must be "one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)" (1 Timothy 3:4,5).
The Greek word for "ruleth" is the word proistimi, a compound of pro and istimi. The word pro means before or in front of, and the word istimi means to stand. When compounded together, the new word depicts someone who is standing up front before others in order to lead, guide, direct, or manage a situation. It conveys the meaning of a leader who is responsibly giving oversight and direction to a group of people or to a project. Paul uses the word "well" to describe the way this person rules. It is the Greek word kalos, which means good, well, or skilled. Thus, it pictures an individual who has shown that he is able to successfully give oversight to a group of people or to a specific project.
Paul says it is required that a spiritual leader rule well his own "house." The word "house" is the Greek word oikos, which is the word for a physical house. However, as it is used here, it includes the management of the house and everything that happens in that house. Thus, "ruling" one's household would include how a leader manages his home life, his children, the upkeep of the physical house or apartment where he lives, and his personal finances. All of this would be part of his oikos - his house.
Important information about how well potential leaders will serve at church or at work can be ascertained by delving into these four points. So let's briefly review these four critical areas of concern.
Their Home Life:
Paul said a leader must be "one that ruleth well his own house...." As noted, the word "house" is the word oikos and includes everything about a person's home life. One of the most strategic factors to consider when selecting new married leaders is the condition of their marriage. What kind of relationship do they have with their spouse? Is it a supportive, healthy marriage, or one that is full of problems? Does the relationship reveal good communication between the husband and wife? If that potential leader cannot successfully communicate with the most important person in his life, how do you know he will be able to properly communicate with others at church or at work? These questions may give you great insight into the pluses and minuses that come with new potential leaders.
Paul said a leader must be one who has his "...children in subjection with all gravity." If potential candidates have children, perhaps nothing gives you clearer insight into what kind of leaders they will be than the example of their own children. Although you can't make this a hard and fast rule, most often the children of potential leaders are a reflection of the kind of leadership those candidates are currently exercising in their own home.
Since people can impart only what they have in their private lives, it is good to observe what potential leaders have imparted within their own homes. What is the visible fruit of their influence and leadership in their children's lives?
The answers to these simple, basic questions are important indicators to let you know how potential candidates are leading their own homes. If they're not leading their own homes with excellence, why would you imagine they could lead an entire division of the ministry with excellence? That's why it's important to never overlook a potential leader's children. They will always be one of the clearest signals to alert you to the kind of leader this person will be.
Their House or Apartment:
Paul wrote that a leader must be one that "...ruleth well his own house...." As already stated above, the word "house" refers to everything connected to home life. Part of home life is the physical house where the family lives. Therefore, it's valid to ask:
by Rick Renner
In Sparkling Gems From the Greek, Rick Renner unlocks an amazing cache of rich, enduring treasures mined from deep within the Word to unveil a wealth of brilliant wisdom and sound counsel that will enrich and redefine your life.
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