Summary: An exposition of Titus 1:5
How a church is to be organized
Scripture reading: Hebrews 13
For the last month, at his school, my son has been learning about how Canada is organized and run. In the world there are 6 different systems of government: anarchy, monarchy’s, republics, dictatorships, democracies, and constitutional monarchy’s.
In Canada the system of government that we employ is a constitutional monarchy. This means that we have a Monarch (Queen Elizabeth) as our symbolic head of state. The queen, however, does not dictate how Canada runs. Instead, we elect people to represent us and make decisions and laws on our behalf.
Our church, and every church has a system of government. The reason is because our God is a God of order and His command to us is to do everything in an orderly manner (1 Corinthians 14:40). In regards to the system of government that is to be in church, God has not left us to our own devices. The Scriptures clearly reveal for us how a church is be organized.
WHY CONSIDERING HOW A CHURCH IS TO BE ORGANIZED IS SO RELEVANT TO US?
1. Many people have asked me is Sue and I own the church.
2. Some confusion exists regarding how decisions are made and how we are funded
Sue and I do not own the church.
The church is a registered charity, it’s legal name being: Islington Baptist Church. Islington Baptist Church is held in trust by the Trustees that the members of Islington Baptist have elected. The Trustees do not own the church either. By direction only, the Trustees carry out various legal activities on behalf of the church. For example, by the direction of the Members the Trustees sold the house next door on behalf of Islington Baptist Church. If the church were ever to close due, the assets of the church would not go to the members or the Trustees. By law the assets of the church would have to be distributed to another charity of like kind i.e the money would be given to another local Baptist Church in the area.
How are decisions made at Islington?
As far as decision making goes here at the church the decision making process is shared between me, as your Pastor and the members of the church.
On a day-to-day basis I make all sorts of decisions—sometimes independently, most often in consultation. The reason I make all sorts of decisions is because, while I am legally an employee of the church, when you called me to serve here, you called me – according to the Scriptures-- to be your leader.
While I make a fair number of decisions on my own that does not mean that I am not accountable. Accountability is very important to me. Our Constitution ensures this, as it requires that periodic members meetings take place. At these members meetings what happens at the church is reviewed. In addition to this future initiatives and projects are discussed, prayed, and voted on. At these meetings I have one vote on whatever issue is at hand, just as any other person does.
No matter who you are, if you have ministry idea that fits with our purpose of Telling others about Jesus, Learning more about God and how to follow Him, Worshipping the Lord, or Serving each other and our community, your input is welcome.
How is Islington Baptist funded?
Primarily, by you and me.
When I was a child my parents taught me what the Bible calls tithing. Tithing involves giving 10% of what you earn or receive by gift, inheritance, etc towards to the work of the Lord. When done with a right and willing heart it is a way of worshipping God. The practice of tithing is what kept the Temple of the Lord and priests and Levitical staff maintained. When the people the unfaithful the Temple of the Lord fell into disrepair and the Levites and priests abandoned their posts.
I firmly believe that tithing is for today. To give 10% of what crosses our palms ought not to be considered a burden by us. To give this small amount to the work of the Gospel is the least we can do for the greatest venture that there is on earth: telling others about Jesus and then helping those who are followers of Jesus live faithfully. For more info read Malachi 3:6-12.
READ TITUS 1
Before reading note
1. Written by Paul to Titus (a close associate of Paul’s in the work of church planting). As you will notice in a moment: Paul had a job for Titus to do. Titus’ job was to identify and then ordain elders in every church on the island of Crete.
2. The church situation that Paul was writing to reflected churches that seem to be i. smaller in size and 2. relatively new.