Summary: Paul instructs Titus to appoint elders in all the churches on Crete. We learn the qualifications of elders and that character is more important that charisma.

Titus: Leadership Matters

Titus 1:5-9

Pastor Jefferson M. Williams

Chenoa Baptist Church


Leadership Training

I became a Christian on the last day of 1990. Early in 1991, the college ministry I attended had leadership training classes and I showed up eager to learn.

What I didn’t know was that I wasn’t supposed to be there. It was for mature Christians who were going to be serving in leadership position in the ministry.

I learned much later that there was a huge debate about what to do with me. They finally decided that no one had the heart to tell me I couldn’t come so I got to go through the training.

Ironically, I’m one of the few out of that ministry that ended up in full time church leadership!

What I learned in that class formed the foundation for everything that I learned after that - everything rises and falls on leadership and a church will only go as far as their leadership can take them.

Marks of a Healthy Church

Last week, we began our sermon series through Titus by studying the first four verses and learning five marks of a healthy church:

1. A healthy church is full of individuals who are passionate about people coming to faith in Christ and are willing to do anything short of sin to share the Gospel with them.

2. A healthy church is full of people who are on a faith journey. For the ones that claim Christ as Savior, they are always growing always changing. They are different than they were 5 days ago, 5 months ago, 5 years ago.

3. A healthy church is full of people who want to make a difference in this life but also realize this life is just the prologue to eternity. Their hope is in heaven and nowhere else.

4. A healthy church is full of people that understand that the preaching of the Gospel is the most important thing we do as a church. They wake up on a Sunday morning with a holy anticipation that God is going to do miracles through His Word.

5. A healthy church is full of people who are disciples of Jesus who make other disciples of Jesus. It’s not an option. It’s a command.

Turn with me to the book of Titus.


[Slide] The Mission

[Slide] “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.” (Titus 1:5

We learn from Acts 2, that there were individuals from Crete in Jerusalem at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out and the apostles were able to share the Gospel in all the different languages represented.

These Cretans went back to their island and formed a loose knit collection of churches.

Paul visited Crete briefly on his way to Rome and he delegates his apostolic authority to Titus in the introduction of this letter.

{Slide} Crete is in the Mediterranean Sea and is the largest of the Greek Isles. At one point, it was the center of the ancient Minoan civilization.

Paul left Titus in Crete to supervise the churches and later wrote this letter (sometime in the mid 60s) to encourage and strengthen him for the task ahead.

While it seems that Timothy was lacking self-confidence, Titus was Paul’s troubleshooter. If there was a hard assignment, Paul knew he could trust Titus to pull it off.

In Paul’s day, it was inundated with cults and temples and the inhabitants claimed that Zeus was born on Crete.

The island was mountainous and there were no road systems. But more importantly, the people of Crete were known as “liars, evil brutes, and gluttons.” (Titus 1:12)

It was a place filled with idol worship and immorality and out of these Cretans, Titus was to train and ordain leaders for the church.

[Slide]The Mandates

Titus had two mandates from Paul:

“The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.” (Titus 1:5

Titus was to “put in order what was left unfinished.” “Put in order” is a Greek word that means to set a broken bone or to straighten crooked teeth.

The Cretan churches were a mess and Titus was charged with straighten them out.

What did Paul consider unfinished? We learn that from the second directive he gives Titus. He is concerned with the lack of leadership in the local churches on Crete.

Paul writes to Titus that his main goal to create healthy churches is to “appoint elders in every town.” There were up to 100 towns on Crete so this would be a daunting task.

Everything rises and falls on leadership and Paul wants to make sure that the Cretan churches have a firm foundation of leadership as they grow and multiply.

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