“Above Reproach”

This is the two-word description of the man or woman who is Biblically qualified to be involved in church leadership or ministry according to the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 3. Sometimes the word is translated “blameless” and it always has the idea of being a person of complete moral and ethical integrity who is not or has not recently been involved with behavior that would bring shame to himself, or the ministry of Jesus Christ.

We apply that standard to everyone who takes on the mantle of ministry among us. It applies to Elders, ushers, Sunday School teachers, greeters, and worship team members, etc. etc.

We expect each person ministering to know what behavior is unacceptable for someone who represents the Lord. We take it as a high honor which isn’t open to all but only those who show themselves faithful to him and to his calling.

Our desire is that each serving saint  maintains a walk with the Lord through fellowship, personal Bible study and prayer that overflows into holy heartfelt service. If you should stumble, it is your responsibility to confess that failure to the Lord but also to the ministry leader who you serve under. Ministry is a trust from the Lord and also from those who He establishes us to work and serve under. Therefore, we are not to decide to confess our sin privately and then continue in service without the consideration of those we serve under. God will use those, whom you are responsible to spiritually, to seek His face and discern what His will is for your ministry. This is part of being a man or a woman of integrity.

You need to also be aware that as you have been called to ministry you have higher standards placed upon you then before. Paul makes it clear in 2 Corinthians 6:3 that we are to give “no cause for offense in anything, in order that the ministry be not discredited, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God.”

He tells us that we are to be careful not only about what God thinks of our lives but also what other people think as well. “For we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.” (2 Cor. 8:21) and again “Abstain from all appearances of evil” (1 Thess. 5:22 KJV). That doesn’t make you a man-pleaser! A God-pleaser desires to please God by doing what is honorable in the eyes of man. For instance, for a single man to live with his girlfriend or spend the night at her apartment may not involve sexual sin – but it definitely does not appear “honorable” in the eyes of the neighbors or other believers who may be aware of it!

The Lord doesn’t demand that you be perfect to serve Him and neither should the church but He does require moral integrity, honesty and personal accountability. Let’s raise up a standard that honors God and gives no opportunity for the enemies of God to blaspheme as they did in David’s day. Let’s continue to let His standards be our safeguard and His devoted service our single holy passion!

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2 thoughts on ““Above Reproach”

  1. Thank you Pastor Bob…it is good to remember that it’s not about me, it is about glorifying Him in all that I do. I know that others are watching….one of my neighbors commented how often she sees me leaving the apartment complex. It opened a dialog about where I am going and what I am doing. You never know when the Lord will orchestrate a devine appointment!

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