Pastor Family Requirement is an examination on why and what of that requirement in 1 Timothy 3 that the pastor has to be a family man.
Pastor Family Requirement
Topic: Pastor Family Requirement
By Pastor David Cox
1Tim 3:2 A bishop then must be.. the husband of one wife…given to hospitality…
1Tim 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
1Tim 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
You can tell a lot about a person by their family, especially when they are married and have children. Living in their household for a few days, often times the world about them. While it is possible (easier) to hide your “true colors” from a candidate committee or on a written questionnaire, it is very difficult to live any time with somebody present in the house without certain central elements of the people’s personalities coming through loud and clear. When churches have a candidate come in, they should insist that the entire family come, and that they stay a while (days) and that they live with some church family for those days. That family that hosts them should give a realistic report on what they experienced afterward. This would be good to do several times with different host families.
Pastors need to be accomplished Husbands and Fathers
The Bible makes these requirements for a reason. A pastor deals with people, God’s people, God’s flock. The reason why they need to be family men is because only when a man has a wife and has children can he understand how he is supposedly to cherish and care for other people.
There is a big difference between people who are “public servants” say at a hospital, and a mother or father. A mother or father takes caring for their own children to another level that public servants never really understand. If those public servants are parents, then maybe the comforting of their own children will show up in how they handle their daily caring for dozens or even hundreds of different people. But at the same time, even a mother or father may not be a very good parent, and this is “lost” on them. They think that they can “do the job” even though they are not a parent. They can imagine what a parent would do, and then they think they will deal with the flock of God like godly parents would their own children. This is not true, though, and God requires that the pastor be a husband and a father.
I have argued with assistant pastors that insisted that they would be excellent pastors, and they do not have to be married. Whether they can capture the depth of what they are saying is truly the question. Parents versus single people do public service shows up eventually that the single people have a shortfall in sympathizing with their patients. Most people do not need sympathy anyway. But when somebody does, it is a glaring character fault that single people don’t have the understanding and depth of loving a spouse or their own child.
The end analysis of this is simply that God has spoken, and just like women are not to preach and teach men, many refuse to accept God’s commandment when it doesn’t suit them. These kinds of men should not be pastors.
Pastoral Candidates need to be Family Men
From a perspective of discerning what a pastoral candidate really is, how he would work out in your church as your pastor, it is extremely important to understand that some men are false, and they can pretend and act like something that they are not, and do this very well. They will deceive everybody, it would seem. But when you begin to probe into their relationship with their own wife, things begin to show up showing the true mettle of the man. It gets even more obvious when you ask small children about their parents, about their dads. Many times you can sense something wrong by having simple discussions with the man’s children.
Is it wrong to ask questions of a man’s children? Some would say that is going too far. But if God inserts the fact of being a father into the requirements in 1 Timothy 3, then it is fair play to investigate what God has commanded us. Even more than being “fair”, it is essential if we are to obey God on our part. There is a very important point here. When a church is dealing with a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” of a pastor, it is a thousand times easier to stop that person from ill affecting the church BEFORE HE IS PASTOR THAN AFTER HE HAS ENTERED THE POSITION IN YOUR CHURCH.
To destitute a pastor is very difficult and painful. In most cases, the church is destroyed afterward. Whereas to pass over one pastoral candidate is easier.