1 Timothy 3:8-16
“And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless.”
Measure twice, cut once. This is an old saying that I learned from a carpenter and his son when I went on Workcamp missions trip as we were building a wheelchair ramp for a local resident in the town we were stationed.
This was the first time I worked with power saws to build something of significance with wood as it was a life giving experience learning practical life and crafting skills. I was really eager to use the power saws as I never worked one before and I would make many mistakes due to my excitement/impatience because I would cut pieces of wood and they wouldn’t be the right length so therefore we would have a lot of unusable awkward pieces that only wasted precious resources.
It is in this moment I learned the simple principle of, “measure twice, cut once.” Take the time to measure the length required and double check it before you cut because you can’t go back on the final cut but you can always adjust measurements.
In the qualifications of being a deacon or established servant of the church, this same principle came to mind when I read verse ten because testing or proving oneself seems offensive to someone that simply wants to serve but a time of proving is a crucial step necessary for growth in the long term. To take the time to set the right foundations before going ahead in serving in leadership may take longer but helps the church and individual to grow longer.
To gain a position without character development leads to corruption. This does not mean that we just sit in continuous state of preparation without doing anything because preparation without action is plain dumb as nothing gets done. But the balancing point to leadership development is not action, action, action for that only leads to awkward and wasted effort.
The balancing point is to take some time to lay out the foundations and be firm in them and as you go from that point of establishing the foundations, you constantly develop within the action of serving. What is the spiritual leader’s foundation?
“They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.”
“Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.”
Whether in leadership, preparing for leadership, or beginning your faith walk with the LORD, set the foundation of the Gospel. When it comes to the Gospel we must read it, study it, live it, and walk in it daily!