Nepaug Bible Church -
Men's Leadership Support Group Meeting notes -

Part X: Godly Leadership And Fame And Wealth
(1 Timothy 6:3-19)
  1. Introduction
    1. The words "rich and famous" are a saying in our culture as they frame the idealized goal of Western man.
    2. However, making fame and wealth one's goal in life makes for very self-centered and hence destructive leadership, a fact human history can abundantly show and that God's Word often reveals.
    3. Nevertheless, godly leaders in human institutions like marriage, family, church, business and government need to face the issues of fame and wealth as such leaders often function in the limelight of human attention, and are usually responsible to earn and/or manage wealth effectively for others under their care.
    4. 1 Timothy 6:3-21 provides guidelines for the man of God to follow in leadership on handling fame and wealth as he ought for the good of his subordinates and the glory of God (as follows):
  2. Godly Leadership And Fame And Wealth, 1 Timothy 6:3-19.
    1. Regarding fame, godly leaders must not seek it lest it destroy subordinates and lead to sin, 1 Tim. 6:3-5:
      1. In 1 Timothy 6:3-5, Paul returned to his 1 Timothy 1:3-7 theme on false teachers who wanted the reputation of being teachers of the Law, Hendriksen, Exp. of the Pastoral Eps. (NTC), 1974, p. 195.
      2. This desire was accompanied by an errant PRIDE according to 1 Timothy 6:3-4a, and that pride led to all sorts of bad, self-serving behavior that led to arguments, envy, divisions, slander, evil suspicions and constant friction among people, things that did not edify the Church, cf. 1 Timothy 6:4b-5a!
      3. Accordingly, a truly godly leader will view his leadership role NOT as an opportunity to serve his own EGO, but to meet the needs of SUBORDINATES and the requirements GOD has of him (as follows):
        1. Like Paul detailed in 1 Timothy 1:3-4 in light of 2 Timothy 4:1-2, the godly leader will focus on settling subordinates on the simple truth of Scripture versus trying to impress people uselessly!
        2. Like Paul detailed in 1 Timothy 1:5, he will focus on promoting love, a good conscience and faith in God that edifies subordinates and pleases God versus stroking his ego by trying to impress others!
    2. Regarding wealth, godly leaders will seek a sensible degree of it, but not make it their life's goal, 6:6-19:
      1. Paul noted that false teachers (and hence false leaders) errantly considered that the gaining of wealth was an innately good goal that made all efforts towards its realization acceptable, 1 Timothy 6:5b.
      2. Yet, Paul held that such a supreme goal for a leader was an errant one, for wealth is useful in this imperfect, temporal world only for the meeting of temporal needs (as follows), 1 Timothy 6:6-10:
        1. Paul stated that godliness with contentment with one's current level of wealth was a great gain, for man enters this world with no wealth and he leaves it equally penniless, 1 Timothy 6:6-7.
        2. Thus, godly leaders are to be content with the means of sustenance and housing and clothing cover, for anything beyond that was an inordinant lust for wealth that only hurts its owner, 1 Tim. 6:8-10: (a) the words rendered "food and clothing" (NIV, ESV) or "food and raiment" (KJV) in verse 8 are diatrophas and skepasmata rendered [respectively] "the means of sustenance" and "clothing OR housing shelter", cf. U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966 ed., p. 728; Arndt & Ging., A Grk.-Eng. Lex. of the N. T., p. 189, 761; Moult. & Mill., The Voc. of the Grk. N. T., p. 156. (b) By way of application, Paul meant we should be satisfied with an income and clothing and housing cover sufficient to provide for our ongoing livelihood needs and that of our subordinates. Anything beyond that led to self-destructive results, 1 Timothy 6:9-10, result leaders were to avoid, 1 Timothy 6:11-16.
        3. For this reason, leaders were to charge wealthy folk under their oversight to be humble and not trust in riches, but in God who richly blessed them so they might use excess wealth for the needy, 6:17ff.
Lesson: Regarding fame, godly leaders (1) must NOT SEEK it, but aim gently, humbly to settle and edify subordinates, and regarding fortune, they must (2) aim for JUST the RIGHT AMOUNT of wealth (a) to SUSTAIN the institutions they lead for the LONG haul, (b) giving EXCESS wealth to the needy.

Application: Since THIS life is so TRANSITORY, making "fame and fortune" goals in themselves can only HARM our effectiveness for ETERNAL matters, so we best USE our leadership roles NOT to SEEK fame, and go for just the amount of wealth needed to sustain us in God's roles for us on earth. What wealth we realize that we do not need for these matters should be distributed to the needy!