1 Timothy 3:2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable…
The next pastoral qualification that we come to is that he must be respectable. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines it like this:
Possessing the worth or qualities which deserve or command respect; worth of esteem and honor; as a respectable citizen; a respectable company.
As I sit here in my work van over my lunch break, I am still not sure how to go about describing this qualification. Respectable has the idea of being esteemed in the eyes of others. Yet Jesus (the most respectable man ever) was disrespected to the point of death. The prophets of old and the apostle Paul writing this text were equally worthy of respect, yet seldom had it.
As C.S. Lewis said in Mere Christianity; there has never been a society which honors cowardice and dishonors courage. No man has ever been respected for running away from a battle. This, he says, is because man was born under the law of nature, or better yet, the law is written on every man’s heart. But that being the case, respectable character is not always respected; sometimes the Barabbas’s of the world receive what only the character of Jesus deserves.
Never-the-less, the pastor is to be worthy of respect though he may not get it. I think the idea of being respectable is to hear Jesus say to that man on judgement day, “well done, good and faithful servant!”