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 <<  1 Timothy 3 >> 

1If anyone wants to provide leadership in the church, good!

2But there are preconditions: A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife, cool and collected, accessible, and hospitable. He must know what he's talking about,

3not be overfond of wine, not pushy but gentle, not thin-skinned, not money-hungry.

4He must handle his own affairs well, attentive to his own children and having their respect.

5For if someone is unable to handle his own affairs, how can he take care of God's church?

6He must not be a new believer, lest the position go to his head and the Devil trip him up.

7Outsiders must think well of him, or else the Devil will figure out a way to lure him into his trap.

8The same goes for those who want to be servants in the church: serious, not deceitful, not too free with the bottle, not in it for what they can get out of it.

9They must be reverent before the mystery of the faith, not using their position to try to run things.

10Let them prove themselves first. If they show they can do it, take them on.

11No exceptions are to be made for women--same qualifications: serious, dependable, not sharp-tongued, not overfond of wine.

12Servants in the church are to be committed to their spouses, attentive to their own children, and diligent in looking after their own affairs.

13Those who do this servant work will come to be highly respected, a real credit to this Jesus-faith.

14I hope to visit you soon, but just in case I'm delayed, I'm writing this letter so

15you'll know how things ought to go in God's household, this God-alive church, bastion of truth.

16This Christian life is a great mystery, far exceeding our understanding, but some things are clear enough: He appeared in a human body, was proved right by the invisible Spirit, was seen by angels. He was proclaimed among all kinds of peoples, believed in all over the world, taken up into heavenly glory.

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