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The character and effectiveness of any church is directly related to the quality of its leadership.
The Bible stresses the importance of qualified church leadership and specific standards for evaluating the moral character of anyone that would serve in the ministry. A church might go only as far as the leadership takes it. Some churches will evangelize while others fossilize, but if there’s a failure to uphold the integrity of church leaders, there’ll be failure in the pews. Timothy faced such problems while in Ephesus, and this is why Paul gave him a detailed explanation of the qualifications for elders (1 Tim. 3:1-7), and it has been used throughout the centuries for this same purpose. The Apostle Paul had started the church at Ephesus, staying there around three years in order to train church leaders (Acts 18:19; 20:17, 31), so the Ephesian church had solid leadership, thanks in large part to Paul’s laying down qualifications for elders and deacons.
Statement - Paul - Elders - Departure - Fierce
Almost like a prophetic statement, Paul told the Ephesian elders that, “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:29 30). In other words, Paul was certain that Satan’s most effective weapon to attack the church is to provide false or unqualified leaders who preach a false or works-based gospel, and that’s exactly what happened. After Paul was released from his first Roman imprisonment, he decided to leave Timothy at Ephesus, leaving him specific instructions regarding church leadership. One requirement was that “an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money”...
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