December 17, 2017 – 1 Timothy 3:1-16

Lesson Date: December 17, 2017

Focal Scripture Passage: 1 Timothy 3:1-16

AIM: To lead students to discover the biblical qualifications for pastors and deacons, and to (1) thank God for their godly church leaders, and (2) compare their lives to those qualifications and seek to live up to those standards.

Before class: Read the notes on 1 Timothy 3:1-16 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Get enough copies of the “Qualifications” worksheet for your anticipated attendance. Have some pens or pencils on hand for any who might need one. Write the word “Qualifications” on the marker board or chalkboard.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the word “Qualifications” written on the board. Ask them to suggest definitions for the word. After a few responses, comment that most jobs have a set of required qualifications for employment. Ask: “What are some common qualifications that you might find in a posting for a job opening?” (a college degree, a certain amount of experience, good people skills, being a self-starter, etc.). Those qualifications listed in the job posting form the minimum requirements for employment. In other words, if you don’t meet the qualifications you need not apply.

Tell the class today’s lesson is about the qualifications for serving as a pastor or other church leader. Ask: “When a church is looking for a new pastor, what are some qualifications they might expect?” (a seminary degree, a certain amount of pastoral experience, good people skills, good administrative skills, etc.) Comment that different churches (and church members) might have different expectations of their pastor. These differing expectations may be very valid, but the most important question a church should ask is “What does the BIBLE say?

Tell the class today’s lesson contains lists of very specific qualifications for being a pastor, a deacon, and even a deacon’s wife.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the class that we are in a study of the New Testament books of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus.
    • Remind them that the Apostle Paul left young Timothy in Ephesus to straighten out some problems in the church.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (godly behavior).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verses (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
  2. Qualifications for Pastors.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Timothy 3:1 to the class.
    • Explain that the titles “bishop,” “overseer,” “elder,” and “pastor” are used interchangeably in the New Testament, referring to the men responsible for leading, teaching, and directing the local church. A “bishop,” then, is a pastor.
    • Give everyone a copy of the “Qualifications” worksheet. Offer pens or pencils to anyone who needs one.
    • Tell the students verses 2-7 list seventeen qualifications for serving as a pastor. We are going to discover, list, and define those qualifications.
    • Read 1 Timothy 3:2-7 one verse at a time.
    • Ask the students to identify what word goes in each blank.
    • Ask them to write the words in the blanks on their worksheets.
    • Use the notes in the Sunday School Teacher Book to help explain the meaning of any words that seem unclear.
    • Summarize: Ask the students to state in their own words some of the biblical qualifications for being a pastor.
  3. Qualifications for Deacons.
    • Tell the class verses 8-13 list ten qualifications for those who serve as deacons.
    • Explain that the Greek word translated deacon in our Bibles literally means a servant or minister.
    • Ask everyone to turn their “Qualifications” worksheet over to the other side. Tell them we are going to discover, list, and define the qualifications for deacons.
    • Read 1 Timothy 3:8-12 one verse at a time.
    • Ask the students to identify what word goes in each blank.
    • Ask them to write the words in the blanks on their worksheets.
    • Use the notes in the Sunday School Teacher Book to help explain the meaning of any words that seem unclear.
    • Note that verse 11 describes qualifications for the deacons’ wives.
    • Read 1 Timothy 3:13.
    • Ask: “What rewards come to those who serve well in church leadership?” (a good standing and great boldness).
    • Summarize: Ask the students to state in their own words some of the biblical qualifications for being a deacon.
  4. Paul’s Purpose for Writing and Statement of Faith.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Timothy 3:14-16.
    • Ask: “According to verse 14, what did Paul hope to do?” (return to Ephesus)
    • Ask: “According to verse 15, why did Paul write this letter to Timothy?” (so Timothy would know how to live and lead the church until Paul could come and join him in Ephesus).
    • Note that this theme is the reason for the title of our current quarterly: How to Behave in Church.
    • Tell the students verse 16 is Paul’s confession of faith. He said without doubt or controversy Jesus Christ was:
      • Manifest in the flesh
      • Justified in the Spirit
      • Seen of angels
      • Preached unto the Gentiles
      • Believed on in the world
      • Received up into glory

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Ask everyone to turn their worksheet over and look once again at the qualifications for pastors. As they look down the 17 items on that list, comment on how thankful you are that our pastor is a godly man who measures up to those standards very well. Tell the students that all Christians should strive to live up to those same ideals. Ask: “As you look over that list, how do you measure up? Are there areas that need improvement?”

Ask them to turn their worksheet back to the deacon side. Comment on how thankful you are that our deacons and other church leaders seek to measure up to those standards. Tell the students that all Christians should work to live up to those same ideals. Ask: “As you look over that list, how do you measure up? Are there areas that need improvement?”

Read the last three items on the bottom of the deacon side of the worksheet.

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Encourage them to thank God for their pastor and other church leaders. Tell them if there are areas in their lives in which they fall short they should confess that as sin and ask for God’s help. Lead a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Urge everyone to regularly pray for (1 Tim. 2:1-2) and thank God for their pastor and other church leaders, and to express their love and appreciation to them.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
share

Recommended Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *