I was reminded the other day how meaning is conveyed not only by individual words but also by the larger context of those words. It is easy to hang on to a particular word and forget to check the overall context, but it is equally easy to miss the meaning of a particular word by not looking at its context.
1 Tim 3:2 says that “an overseer must be (δει) above reproach.” δει is a strong word; it leaves no wiggle room. This is supported by its use throughout the Pastorals, throughout Paul, and throughout the NT (see my commentary, pp 169f). If a person is to be in a position of church leadership, then they must meet the overall standard of being “above reproach.”