1 Timothy 3

Leaders of the church

1 These words are true: ‘If you want to become a leader of God's people, it is an important work that you want to do.’ 2 For that reason, a leader of the church must live a life that everyone knows is good. He must be the husband of one wife. He must think seriously about how he lives and he must rule himself well. He must be someone that people respect. He must be happy to have visitors in his home. He must be a good teacher. 3 He should not like to drink too much wine. He must not quickly get angry or quarrel with people. Instead he should be kind to people. He must not want lots of money. 4 He must take care of his own family. His children must obey him and respect him. 5 A man must know how to take care of his own family. If he cannot do that, he will not be able to take care of God's people in the church.

6 A leader of the church must not be someone who has believed in Christ for only a short time. Someone like that might think that he has become great and important. Then he would receive punishment, like the Devil did. 7 Also, people outside the church should agree that the leader is a good person. Then nobody can say anything bad against him. And so, he will not come under the Devil's power.

3:7The Devil wants to stop people who are good Christian leaders. So, he is happy when other people say bad things about them.

Helpers in the church

8 In the same way, deacons must live good lives, so that people respect them. They must not be hypocrites. They must not drink too much wine. They must not want to get a lot of money for themselves. 9 They must completely believe God's message that he has shown us about Christ. They must not be ashamed of that true message. 10 Before anyone becomes a deacon, you must first check that they are suitable to serve God in this way. If they show that they are suitable, then let them work as deacons.

3:8The word ‘deacon’ means someone who serves or helps God's people.

11 Deacons' wives must live good lives, so that people respect them. They must not say bad things against people. They must think carefully about how they live. People should know that they are honest in everything that they do.

3:11‘Deacons' wives’ could mean ‘deacons who are women’.

12 A deacon must be the husband of one wife. He must take care of his children and all his family in a good way. 13 If a deacon serves God's people well, then people will respect him as a good person. He will become strong to tell people about his faith in Christ Jesus.

14 I hope to come to visit you soon. But anyway, I want to write these things to you now. 15 Then, even if I cannot come to you soon, you will know how people in God's family should live. That family is the church of God, who lives for ever. God's family, the church, teaches God's true message and keeps it safe.

16 Yes, the message that God has shown us about Jesus Christ is very great. Nobody can argue about that. We all agree to this:

God showed him to us as a man.

God's Spirit showed that he always did what was right.

Angels saw him.

People taught his message in many countries of the world.

People in the world believed in him.

God took him up to be with himself in heaven.

3:16These words probably come from a song that the Christians sang when they met together.