The leaders of God’s people
I’m writing about church leaders now. You sometimes hear people say, “If anybody wants to be the person that leads God’s people, that’s a very important job that they want to do.” And that’s right. So you have to be very careful about the person you pick to be a leader. A church leader has to be this sort of man,
– He has to be a really good man, so that nobody can ever say that he does bad things.
– He can only have one wife, and he can’t sleep with any other woman, like a husband sleeps with his wife.
– He has to have good sense and do things properly.
– He can’t be the sort of man that lets himself go and then does wild things.
– He has to be friendly to other people, even if he doesn’t know them.
– He has to be good at teaching people.
He can’t be a drunken man, or a man that gets into fights.
– He has to be a quiet man that is not hard on people.
– He can’t be a man that loves money.
4-5 He has to look after his own family properly, then you will know that he can look after God’s people too. If his kids respect him, and if they do whatever he tells them to do, that shows that he is the right sort of man.
He has to be a man that has been a Christian for a long time, not a new Christian. A new Christian might start to think he is smart, and God might have to throw him out, like he threw the devil out after the devil thought he was smart. That devil is now the boss over the bad spirits.
He has to be a man that everybody says is a good man. Even people that are not Christians have to say that he is good. If they know that he is a good man, they will respect him. The devil always tries to make Christian leaders go wrong so that he can shame them. It is like the devil has a trap and tries to catch them in it, but he can’t catch a man that is always good.
The people that help the leaders
It is the same too for the people that are helpers in the church.
– They have to be really good honest people.
– They can’t be people that get drunk.
– They can’t be greedy, wanting lots of money and things.
They have to really believe the things that God has shown us. And they have to always do the right thing, so that they will not feel bad about what they do.
10 You need to try them out before you make them church helpers, so first give them some little jobs to do, and if they do them properly, and if nobody complains about them, then you can make them helpers in the church.
11 Their wives have to be like them, good women that nobody complains about.
– Their wives can’t be the sort of women that say bad things about other people.
– Their wives can’t be the sort of women that let themselves go and then do wild things.
– Their wives have to be honest about everything.
12 A church helper can only have one wife, and he can’t sleep with any other woman, like a man sleeps with his wife.
– He has to be the sort of man that looks after his wife and kids properly, as well as all the people that live in his house.
13 If church helpers do their job properly, everybody will say that they are good people, and God will be happy with them too. Then they will not be too frightened to tell anybody that they believe in Jesus Christ.
God’s true word
14 I want to come and see you soon, but I’m writing this letter to you now 15 so that you will know the way we have to do things in the church. You know, we are God’s family, and his family is his church. God is always alive, and the people in his church always have to keep on teaching his true word. You know how a house is held up by the big posts that are set in concrete. Well, we people in God’s church, we are like those posts. We are holding up God’s true word, so we have to teach it properly.
16 God shows us something about Jesus that is really true, and nobody can argue with it. He shows us that Jesus is really great,
He came in a man’s body for people to see,
but the Holy Spirit showed us that he was really from God.
And God’s angel messengers saw him too.
The people that believed in him told other people everywhere about him.
They even went to other countries to tell people about him, and people all over the world believed in him.
And God took him up into heaven.