Most often, human being apportion certain responsibility to one holding a particular position believing that the responsibility is attached to the position occupied. In every society, many believe that those at the helm of leadership positions should be one to fix peoples’ problems. Same opinion believes that Christians cannot do wrong things because they are in the position of behaving like God and Jesus Christ. Within the Christian circles, the congregants believe that the leaders are not meant to err in anything. The elders who are appointed to leadership positions are always judged by the qualifications Apostle Paul set up for appointing overseers, elders as well as other ministers in the Bible. One of this qualifications says that “Now the Overseer must be above reproach” (1 Tim. 3: 2 NIV). This passage has made many in Christendom believe that it is only the church Overseers who must live above board in all things. This is because one of their qualifications to become Overseers is living above reproach.
The word “reproach” simply means ‘shame or disgrace.’ This definition is contained in its Bible and secular meaning. If the Bible says that Overseer or an Elder should be above reproach, it simply means the Overseer or the Elder should be doing things which will bring disgrace or shame to the churches and the members of churches. By using the phrase “Be above Reproach” as prerequisites for becoming an Overseer or an Elder, Apostle was looking at one who has been living life that will not bring shame or disgrace to the body of Christ after ordination. He is not saying that such a person will be above reproach after the ordination; but one already living honourable life style as Christian.
In this passage, Apostle Paul touched what “Be above reproach” entails. Those who are going to ordain the Overseer or the Elder must ascertain that the one to be ordained has been one faithful to his wife, has ability of self-control, living wisely and pursuing life known for reputation. Beside, such a person must be known for not being a drunk, or violent person; be gentle and not quarrelsome; among other good behaviours. One who has history records of loving money above human beings will not be qualified for ordination into Overseer’s position or Elder’s position. These prerequisites are to be considered so that after the ordination, the ordained person will not bring shame or disgrace to the body of Christ. Regrettably, many are living today as Overseers or Elders falling short of “Be above reproach.”
Pray asking God to re-equip our churches’ ordained leaders with spiritual ability to be living a life above reproach so that the reproach their actions are bringing to the churches be washed away in the name of Jesus Christ.