The verb proı̈́stēmi is also used in the list of qualifications provided for those who serve in the office of the bishop or overseer.
- If any man aspires to the office of overseer, […] He must be one who manages his own household well, - 1 Timothy 3:1, 4
Elders who serve as the bishop of the church, function as the pastor-teacher. The bishop is to manage (proı̈́stēmi) his own household well. That is, he is to lead or care for his family in a proper manner. Hence, his ability to care and instruct believers is in direct proportion to his ability to care and instruct his family.
The verb leads or proı̈́stēmi is also used in 1 Thessalonians 5:12. Paul admonished the Thessalonians to “appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over (proı̈́stēmi) you in the Lord and give you instruction.” The verb have charge over is proı̈́stēmi, the same as leads. It underscores their ministry of caring for the spiritual needs of believers. As well, note that these elders instruct or teach. The primary means of caring for the spiritual needs of people is by instructing them in the Word. Again, the gift of leading is given to those elders who serve as pastor-teachers.
Those with the gift of leading must recognize that they are not to be lords over those in their care. Instead, they lead by serving others.
- But Jesus called them to Himself and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; - Matthew 20:25-27
James, Jesus’ half-brother, was graced with the gift of leading as evidenced by his role in the Jerusalem Church. In Acts 15, He presided over the Jerusalem Church and demonstrated the ability to direct people to think Biblically through difficult ethical and theological issues. Though James had the gift of leading, he viewed himself as “a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (cf. James 1:1).