Summary: Titus 1:5



During the 1944 presidential elections Franklin Roosevelt had to work very hard to persuade Harry Truman to be his running mate. Truman’s desire was to go to the senate, not to be vice-president of the United States. The incumbent vice-president Henry Wallace was unpopular with many of the democratic leaders of the time. So Truman was approached and accepted the job with a great deal of reluctance. He and FDR were of course elected as president and vice president. On April 12, 1945 Truman was summoned to the White House. There he was shown into Eleanor Roosevelt’s sitting room. It was there that she told Truman that Franklin Roosevelt was dead. After a moment of stunned silence Truman asked her, "Is there anything I can do for you?" She shook here head. "Is there anything we can do for you?" She said, "For you’re the one in trouble now."

Truman went on to be a decent president, a job he did not want, yet he rose to the occasion. For the most part people are not leaders. Most of us like to be part of the crowd, we like to blend in, we like to follow rather then be out in front.

The Bible calls us sheep in different place. Sheep are followers, in fact when a shepherd has a sheep who likes to wander he must do whatever it takes to prevent that sheep from wandering because the other sheep will follow it where ever it goes, many time right into danger.

The same is true for many people. Just look around. Have you ever been to movie, or sporting event or something of that nature. There will be three doors available but people will crowd into the one that everyone else is trying to go through. We are sheep, we are generally speaking followers.

Today I want to talk about leadership living, a call that we will see we are all called to. Please turn with me to our passage for today, Titus chapter 1 verse 5. That would be page 1032 in your pew Bible this morning.

This morning I first want to look at this passage and what Paul is saying, then I want share some thoughts on leadership in general.

Remember that Paul is writing to Titus, one he calls his true son in the faith;

"For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you;"

From the first phrase in our passage it is apparent that Paul had at some point been in Crete. He had apparently established some churches there with his co-worker Titus. But from some reason Paul had to leave Titus behind leaving him at Crete.

During and earlier sermon we talked about Crete. Just to remind Crete was not a pleasant place to be. These people were known for their lack integrity, they were known for their dishonestly, they were known for there greed for material possession, which were to be gained at any cost. In fact even today to be called a "Cretan" is an insult.

So that was the atmosphere which Paul at left Titus. Paul goes on to say that "For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking,. Here Paul tells the reason for his leaving Titus behind, that he should set in order the things that were lacking.

That phrase "set in order" is actually a medical phrase. Those of you who have had a broken bone know that you have to go to the doctors and he will set the bone before putting on the cast. That is the literal meaning of that phrase Paul uses here. It basically means to "properly arrange".

It is interesting that Paul uses that phrase here. The church of Christ is described as a body in the Scripture. As a body each part needs to be functioning properly. Paul is saying to Titus a left you there because there were some problems in the body, there were so things that were broken, and you need to fix those things. You need to address them, if you do not things will not get better.

What happened when you break a bone and do not have it set right. We know that can lead to problems later on, even after the bone heals. It heals but it does not heal right. So Titus needed to make sure that the body would heal right, he needed to "set in order" that which was lacking. That which was broken.

We can take a lesson from this. When something is wrong with the church what should be do, when something appears broken what do we do. Should we ignore and hope is goes away? No. Should we say just leave the church find a new one and say now it is their problem? I think not. Should we hide the problem and hope nobody notices? No.

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Phil Hester

commented on Sep 18, 2006

I have a question, Why do your deacons fulfill the role of elder? In scripture there is a role of elder and a role of deacon. What is the problem here? You say the following: "The leaders Paul refers to as "elders" in the Greek this word is "PRES-BUT-ER-OS". They are also called "bishops" in verse 7. Now in our church we have deacons, but they function as "elders". Most modern day Pastors also function as "elders" in the sense that Paul uses it here."

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