Summary: Titus and Timothy are both told to select appropriate men to lead the church as Elders. But what does God expect of these leaders and how can we (as the congregation) assist them in their role?
OPEN: In one medical school, the students were complaining that they didn’t see why a class in Physics was necessary for them to be doctors. Finally one student actually challenged the teacher with that question.
The teacher thought about that for a moment and then said “Well, we study Physics because it will help save lives.”
“Save lives?" Someone said “How could a class in Physics possibly save lives?”
The teacher smiled and replied “It saves lives because it keeps ignorant people from becoming doctors.”
APPLY: In every field of endeavor there are certain qualifications workers need to meet.
* Doctors need to know about diseases, and about how the human body works.
* Electricians need to understand the properties of electrical current and know how wire homes/businesses
* Auto Mechanics need to have a working knowledge of most makes of cars and how their engines work.
These are the kinds of information and skills these people need to do their job right.
When a business needs to hire new workers they’ll often post a help wanted ad - and the ad will tell what requirements necessary for someone to be hired for that job.
Here in Titus chapter 1 (and also in I Timothy 3) God has posted a help wanted ad. God wants good Elders to look after His church… and so He tells us what He expects of these men. According to Paul’s instructions to Titus, these are the qualifications for a good Elder:
· He’s a good husband
· He’s a good father
· He’s not someone who has to have his own way (not overbearing)
· He’s doesn’t get angry easily
· He’s not a drinker
· He’s a honest, gentle man who likes helping people out
· It’s obvious he takes his faith seriously and works at living a holy/disciplined life
· He knows the Bible well enough so that he can use Scripture to encourage believers and oppose heresy
· He must have a strong enough character to stand against immorality and false teachers
These are not optional.
These are requirements for the job.
Paul says “an elder must be…” these things (see footnote #1)
Why must an Elder “be these things”?
Well, because an Elder’s job is unique.
His job is different than the Preacher’s, Deacons, Sunday School Teachers, etc.
For example, there are a lot of preachers out there who could not be Elders.
Did you know that?
An Elder needs to be married, but there are some preachers who aren’t
An Elder needs to have children who are old enough to show what kind of father he is.
But there are many preachers who don’t have kids.
But why MUST an Elder a good Husband and Father. (Footnote#2)
Because the Elders are role models for the rest of the congregation.
· You want to know how to keep your wife happy?
You should be able to watch the Elders and find out how they treat their wives.
· You want to know how to raise obedient and happy kids?
You should be able to ask an Elder and his wife what he did in his family, and be able to get good answers because they have a proven track record in good parenting.
An Elder is supposed to be the model of what God wants EVERY man in the congregation to become.
He’s the measuring rod.
He’s the yard stick of what good Godly Christian men should be.
But that’s not all an Elder is.
He’s also a Pastor. One of the Shepherds of the flock.
Now I know it’s popular in many churches to call the preacher a Pastor, but that’s not how the term is used Biblically. Titus (who was a preacher) is never referred to as a pastor. Neither was Timothy. Neither was Paul (who wouldn’t have qualified anyway since he was not married).
The Bible reserves the title Pastor for the Elders.
Pastor is a job description of what Elders are called to do.
In I Peter 5, Peter talks to the Elders of a certain church and says to them:
“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds (pastors) of God’s flock that is under your care…” I Peter 5:1-2a
Now notice - whose flock are the Elders shepherds of? (God’s)
The flock doesn’t belong to the Elders… it belongs to God.
Thus, Elders will be held accountable to God for how they lead/ protect His flock.
ILLUS: George Faull tells of the time a church selected a man as an Elder that the preacher knew had taken the job for the prestige it held. The preacher knew the man was wrong for the job, but because of the method the congregation used to select their Elders he couldn’t do anything about it. So, he asked George to come in and give a talk to the Elders.