Paul told Timothy to closely examine those who aspired to leadership. He required that such candidates pass the test of character. Before stepping into a leadership role ourselves or elevating others to leadership positions, we need to do some testing to see how well we or others measure up to the qualifications God has for leaders. While the traits identified by Paul refer specifically to leaders in the church, any leader who possesses them would have the kind of leadership character of which God approves.
The summary statement for the entire list simply says, “The overseer is to be above reproach.” Leaders in the church are to have no moral or behavioral handles that others can grab onto and say, “This disqualifies this person from leadership.” A careful examination of the leader’s qualifications reveals someone who has their private (family) and public life in balance. This person exercises moderation and humility while maintaining a good reputation with those outside the church.
One more thing. Paul believed those who enter into the initial leadership role (deacon) should “first be tested.” The time to discover if someone can lead isn’t after they’ve assumed the role but before. That’s still the best policy today.
While nobody perfectly measures up to the leadership qualifications in this passage, we should all strive to achieve them. With that in mind, how do you measure up? Ask God to enable you to grow in each area so you can be a leader who pleases him.
I Timothy 3:1-10
Taken from NIV Leadership Bible