Criteria for Bishops & Deacons - 1 Tim. 3:1-7
Do only males qualify to be bishops and deacons?
1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
The office of bishop is the overseer in charge of the church. This is the same as our modern-day equivalent of elder and pastor. This position is a good thing to desire.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
A distinction is made in verse 2 between male (husband) and female (wife) with the bishop referring to husbands. This clarifies that the word "man" in verse 1, isn't referring to humanity in general (both men and women), but specifically to males.
Important characteristics of the man qualified to become a bishop are outlined. The church should be careful when selecting an overseer (See also Titus 1:6-9).
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
Next Topic: Priesthood of All Believers
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Verses 4 and 5 refer to the requirement of ruling the home well in order to successfully take care of the church. Since only males can be the legitimate heads of homes (1 Cor. 11:3-16, 1 Tim. 2:11-15), they alone can serve in the headship office (overseer) of the church. A woman is not the head of the man (1 Cor. 11:3), as shown in various other passages, and therefore cannot show that she is ruling well as the head of a household.
A man cannot be the head of the wife at home, but then step out of that role when they enter the church (1 Cor. 14:34-35). This would bring confusion, of which God is not the author (1 Cor. 14:33). If his wife oversees the church, then she has authority over her husband in an official headship role and is not operating according to Biblical directives.
"Let all things be done decently and in order" (1 Cor. 14:40).
Note: If a woman is a single mom or married to an unbelieving husband, she must take up the reigns of leading her household spiritually. Though this is necessary, she is still not the Biblically modeled head of the household. In the same way, if there is no man to serve as elder in the church, a woman may need to take care of some of the duties an elder performs, but she is still not the Biblically modeled overseer of the church (elder, bishop) and should not accept a position of overseer (elder, bishop, minister).