Titus 1:5-9 KJV
5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
In this passage, Paul left Titus behind to build stable churches with mature, qualified pastors for the people. This was especially needed in Crete, because the people of Crete were a wild bunch, ungodly. Titus had to find and train great pastors for the Christians of the island of Crete. The Church was obviously in need of order and leadership, as is our churches today.
The call to leadership is not about popular vote or self promotion. Leaders should not be chosen at random, or just because they volunteer, or because they aspire to the position, or even because they are “natural leaders.” God has specific qualifications for the leaders of his church. Leaders should be chosen because they match the qualifications. It is fine if a man thinks he is “called.” But is he qualified?
You will be surprised at how a church can turn into a political arena. Many churches are in danger of closing due to the fight for leadership. Sadly, this quest is usually based on envy, greed, arrogance, pride, etc. But the question remains, are you qualified?
Going to seminary doesn’t make one qualified for spiritual leadership. Being a good talker doesn’t make one qualified for spiritual leadership. Natural or spiritual gifts in themselves do not qualify one for spiritual leadership. What one gives in money or volunteer time does not qualify them for spiritual leadership. What qualifies a man for spiritual leadership is godly character.
A spiritual leader must be:
Blameless: This word literally means “nothing to take hold upon.” There must be nothing in the life of the leader that others can take hold of and attack his life or the church. This is important, because he is a steward of God’s house. The greater the master is the greater the servants are expected to be.
Husband of one wife: The idea is of “a one-woman man.” It does not mean that a leader must be married. If that were the case, then both Jesus and Paul would be disqualified from leadership! Nor is it the idea that a leader could never remarry if his wife had passed away or if he were Biblically divorced. The idea is that the leader has his focus upon one woman, his wife.
Having faithful children: Has the leader raised his children well? If he can’t lead his own house, how can he lead the family of God? This doesn’t mean that the man has never had a problem with his children; but when the problem arises, how does he deal with it?
The self-willed are disqualified from leadership. They show their self-willed nature in arrogance, stubbornness, and a proud self-focus. There is no place for such a person in God’s house.
The quick-tempered are disqualified from leadership, as are those who drink more than is proper (not given to wine), the violent, and those greedy for money.
Be hospitable: A leader among God’s people must be a hospitable man, and one who loves what is good. Men who love the base and the sordid things of this world are not yet qualified to be leaders among God’s people.
Be sober-minded: This describes the person who is able to think clearly and with clarity.
Be Just, holy, and self-controlled: A pastor or leader in the church must be just (right toward men), holy (right towards God), self-controlled (right towards himself).
Most importantly A leader of a church must hold fast the faithful word: This means first that the leader must be sure of the faithful word for himself. When he brings the word of God to people, he must bring it with confidence and authority, not mixed with theological speculation and academic doubts. This means that the leader will stick to God’s word, instead of a focus on “fads” and “programs” for the church.
A preacher must be both soldier and shepherd. He must nourish, defend, and teach; he must have teeth in his mouth and be able to bite and fight. By sound doctrine: A godly leader deals with those who contradict, and he does it with sound doctrine. He doesn’t do it with pompous authority and political back-stabbing. He brings correction with sound doctrine. If a leader does not have a basis in sound doctrine to either exhort or convict an individual, he probably shouldn’t do it. Leaders need to stand on the foundation of the word. Amen.
Scripture of the day: When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
when the wicked rule, the people groan. ~ Proverbs 29:2 NIV
Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
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