Below are suggested answers for the Message Based Discussion Questions from the message presented on February 16, 2014. These answers are merely to stimulate thought, not replace it. The message outline is listed first.
1 Peter 3:7
How do you disciple men to be overseers?
1) Disciple men who want to oversee 3:1
2) Disciple men to proven character 3:2-6
3) Disciple men who are proven outside the church 3:7
a) Good testimony good of intrinsic value –
b) Reproach & snare of the devil (2 Tim. 2:24-26)
Invest time discipling quality men
for oversight in the church!
- No man starts out with perfect character. Every man has to grow in sanctification – to holiness.
- These are qualities that must be gained through patience, perseverance and self-control. Compromise on these qualities and the whole church suffers. Those who don’t have these qualities will cause great harm to the church and name of Christ.
- It’s all about Jesus and trusting Him to lead the men. You look for opportunities to lead, influence and pray for men. Women too! Jesus!
Message Based Discussion Questions
1) What is your first recollection of spiritual leaders in the church?
- It was the teachers in the Sunday School, who taught us, “This is My Father’s World.” In my family, we were always up early to go to the 8:30 am service.
- Pastor Johnson was a tall man, mature and gave messages that I could understand. I never got to know him, but I knew his daughter and son and they were good kids.
2) Do all spiritual leaders in church serve for the sake of Christ? _no_ (cf. 3 Jn. 1:9-11). How do you discern whether someone wants the position of elder for his own purposes or for kingdom purposes?
- They must be observed over a period of time to see if they are interested in serving for the sake of serving or if they want recognition. A humble person is willing to serve in many different capacities, because that is where they are needed. They are more interested in kingdom purposes and they don’t care who gets the credit, but just want to lift up other people and help others know Jesus.
- When you notice someone is making decisions without input from others, or he is in the forefront or he wants the recognition, then he has a personal agenda. He usually has his way of doing things or when he listens to what needs to be done, he does it his own way anyway. When he decides he no longer wants to do what is expected of him and decides to make his own job description, then he is out for himself. You notice it when he is more concerned with himself than serving others.
3) What three qualifications do you see as most important in the list given for elders? _blameless_; _one woman man__; __not a novice__ What makes those very important for serving as a church leader? Which others would you consider very important?
- These are important in my perspective:
- Blameless – he must be free to serve Christ, not held in suspicion or wanted for wrong-doing. The spiritual warfare is too great.
- One woman man – he pictures who Jesus is to the church and if he’s looking elsewhere at other women, he will be distracted by the devil into a multitude of problems.
- Not a novice – because he needs time to prove himself. It doesn’t matter if he is successful in business or widely known in the community. The spiritual warfare is far more significant than anything in the community.
- Every single one is important, or God would not have listed them. He could have listed five, but He gave all of them for us to test men for leadership.
4) Does it matter what a man’s marriage is like in order to serve as a church leader? __yes__ Why would it matter? Or not?
- His marriage matters, because he pictures Christ’s love for the church.
- If he has problems in his marriage, he won’t be available to shepherd in the church.
- He is a casualty himself in his marriage and will need counseling.
- If his wife is rebellious, he hasn’t learned how to lead so others will follow.
- The tension at home will be brought into the church. People will smell something and know something is wrong, but not know what it is, which leads them to leave.
Making application of the message to life:
5) What are steps that you can support to train men to be elders? What can you actively do?
- Draw them into a discipleship relationship. Help out with the youth and build relationships with young men.
- Gather a discipleship group of young men together and spiritually pour into their lives.
- Encourage men to take risks to serve and to lead.
- Come alongside a guy who is struggling and let him know he still matters and he can either talk to get stronger, or you want to walk alongside of him so he can get back in the saddle of leadership (depending on the failure).
- Become involved in the men’s ministry to encourage men to take steps of leadership.
6) What are two examples of character qualifications that might be difficult to discern for church leadership? How can the church strengthen leadership training in those aspects of leadership?
- Two character qualifications that might be difficult to discern are greedy for money and rules his house well.
- Greedy for money is difficult because a person can be rich, but live like a pauper and he never gives or invests in the Lord’s work, especially when leadership does not know what is given. Or he may be extravagant on himself and assumptions are made that he gives when he really doesn’t. It may be subtle, but he is his own agenda.
- Rules his house well is difficult, because a man and his family may act one way at church, but another way at home. He may oppress his family so they put on a façade at church, but they live in fear at home. Too many families have suffered under that environment in life.
- Talk about them from the pulpit, in men’s ministry and address them specifically. Ensure that men who are in leadership positions have been addressed in those areas.
7) Why does an elder need the requirement of being able to teach? How do you know if he is ready?
- An elder needs to be able to teach, because he is shepherding people into the Word of God. He must be able to feed himself (Heb. 5:11-14), rather than depending on others. He must be able to discern what others say, so he can refute false teaching. If the pastor is not available, the elders need to be able to step up and lead in the church.
- He must be given opportunities to teach and lead others. As he is observed, leadership can verify his ability to communicate. Then in discussions, leadership can determine if he understands truth and if he’s ready to dig into the Word to determine the truth of what has been taught.