Titus for Church Planters: Part 6

In my last post on Titus we explored the solution Titus offers to rebellion in the church as the appointment of Elders. The end of the post left us with with two questions: what should you expect leaders to be like? And what should we expect leaders to do? This post will tackle the first of these, what you should expect leaders to be like.

First of all what do you look for in a leader? We often look for skills – good preaching, a dynamic personality. But Paul is much more interested in the type of person they are.

We should expect someone who is blameless in their home. Look at verse 6: ‘An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.’ In other words, they must already be leading in their home. Why? Look at verse 7a: ‘an overseer manages God’s household’. The way a man leads his household will tell you how he will lead God’s household, the church. If he’s domineering in the home then he’ll be domineering in the church. If he fails to take responsibility in the home then he will fail to responsibility in the church.

Second, we should expect someone who is blameless in their character. Look at verse 7-8: ‘Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless – not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.’ Paul’s primary concern is with character. That’s because truth-failure starts with moral-failure. It’s because skills used for selfish ends become destructive.

Third, we should expect someone who is blameless in their doctrine. Look at verse 9: ‘He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.’ The elders must have the ability to encourage and refute. But even here the emphasis falls not so much on skills, but on holding fast to the truth. It’s not just ability, but a passion for the truth. (The content of that message we’ll see when we look at 3:3-8. Paul says in 1:9 they must hold ‘the trustworthy message’ and in 3:8 he says that 3:3-8 are ‘a trustworthy saying’.)

What should you leaders to be like? Blameless in their home, their character and their doctrine.

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3 thoughts on “Titus for Church Planters: Part 6

  1. Pingback: Titus for Church Planters: Part 6 « Tim Chester | Church

  2. Tim, these are very good. Thank you for sharing them and please keep them coming. We’re being enriched, refreshed, and discipled by them. With gratitude, Rob

  3. Hi Tim,

    Clement, in his epistle (extra-biblical) to the Corinthian church extrapulated exactly what you have stated. That the Apostles encouraged the churches to choose elders.
    “Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them”
    Roberts, Alexander ; Donaldson, James ; Coxe, A. Cleveland: The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol.I : Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325. Oak Harbor : Logos Research Systems, 1997, S. 16; First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians chapter 42

    How then do we engage the likes of Peter Wagner and the New Apostolic Reformation who argues that the church will only come into maturity when the apostles and prohets are re-introduced into the present church and that all other offices must now submitt to the authority of the present day apostle.

    Dr. Godfrey Harold
    Cape Town Baptist Seminary.

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