1 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
As Christians, we understand that bishops (pastors) and deacons are not sinless persons which have reached a stage of perfection others cannot. We must acknowledge that it is the power of God which works in us to do that which is right. Although there be some that feel the moving of the Spirit of God to be called to these positions of service, can we not all strive toward these qualifications in our own personal lives also, even if we are not called to the specific ministry of bishop or deacon?
Men: Is there any cause whereby we should not desire to be vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach (even if simply presenting the gospel to a lost soul or sharing what God has given us from Scripture with a friend or family member), not addicted to alcohol or a drunkard, not a fighter, not greedy of filthy lucre, patient, not a brawler or covetous, not double-tongued, holding firmly to the faith of the gospel within us, without slander, being faithful in all things, ruling our house and raising our children well (by the use of godly wisdom, correction, and Scripture), being of good report both within and without the church?
Ladies: Is there any cause whereby you should not desire to be serious concerning the things of God and how you study and obey them, not a liar or a gossip, faithful in all things, helping your husband raise the children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, being an example of a godly woman both to those who are within the church and those who are without?
If we dare look for these qualities in the bishops and deacons, whereby we judge their character and walk with God, as whether to call them to service within our churches, should we not also look for these same qualities within ourselves lest we hold them to a higher standard while we ourselves become slack and lazy in our service to God?