1 Timothy 3:1-7
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.…
Observe the sacred charge committed to God's appointed bishops, or shepherds, or pastors. I should, first of all, insist that Christ's pastors, who take care of the Church committed to their charge are to take care of their food — that they shall have nothing to eat but what is pure and wholesome. That in the care which God's servants have to take of the Church committed to their charge, they have to nourish three descriptions of character, or three classes of the family specified in Scripture — as babes, young men, and fathers. This care taken of the Church must be with all tenderness, but with all firmness, and under the consciousness of responsibility. It must be with all tenderness. We must be gentle, as the apostle says, "even as a nurse cherisheth her children; and because we were desirous of your welfare, we were ready to impart unto you our own souls, because ye were dear to our souls." But we are not only to use tenderness — "in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves" — towards the lambs, the weak lings, the little ones; but we must use all firmness. Moreover, if we would fake care of the Church of God, it must be by keeping our hearts and thoughts fixed on our responsibility.
Parallel VersesKJV: This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.