Summary: Paul gives Timothy the qualifications for elders and deacons to serve the church in Ephesus.
Pastor Jefferson Williams
Chenoa Baptist Church
Here’s the main point for these sermons:
Everything rises and falls on leadership and a church will only go as far as their leadership can take them.
Three weeks ago, we began our sermon series on the little book of 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.
Two weeks ago, we explored 1:5-9 and dove deep into the qualifications for the office of elder inn the church.
I answered three questions -
Is it Biblical to have a plurality of elders in a church? Obviously, the answer is yes.
Is it Baptist? After exploring the history of Baptist creeds and confessions, the answer is yes.
Is it best? In the leadership structure we have at Chenoa Baptist Church, I’m the lone elder. This isn’t healthy for the church or me as a pastor.
A plurality of elders helps take some of the burdens of caring for the flock off my shoulders.
Elders are shepherds. This week, I read about Carl Lentz’s Sunday routine. Carl was the pastor of Hillsong New York (until he was discovered to be committing adultery) and hung out with celebrities like Justin Bieber and his wife Hailey Baldwin.
He would be picked up at his house in a limo and driving to the church. He was snuck in a back door and spend the rest of the morning in the green room watching sports or talking to whatever Hollywood superstar that was there that day. He would speak and then exit out the back to the waiting limo.
That’s not a shepherd!
A plurality of elders provides me with accountability that I don’t currently have right now.
Ravi Zacharias was a friend of Maxine’s mother and served on her board of directors. People have asked how did RZIM not know about his sexual sins that is now known to be decades long.
Bill Hybels fall from grace was heartbreaking to me and Maxine. I’ve never seen someone share the Gospel clearer and more passionately than Bill. He was ultimately fired by the church he started 45 years ago. So how did the leadership not confront him on his his inappropriate relationships?
James McDonald grew Harvest Bible Chapel into a megachurch and was a dynamic preacher and leader. Yet, he was ultimately fired because of his inappropriate behavior.
Mark Driscoll grew Mars Hill in Seattle into a Mecca for the young, restless, and reformed. He started the Acts 29 network of churches. He is a brilliant preacher (preaches an hour with no notes) and fantastic writer. He was fired for his inappropriate behavior and it brought down the entire church. How did this happen?
These men were supernaturally gifted. These men were brilliant leaders. These men obviously had tremendous flows in their character. They got too big for the leadership. They became Christian celebrities. Their elders and deacons were afraid of them and therefore they had no accountability.
I actually could have at least five more on this slide. And I want you to hear me. There but the grace of God go I. A pastor without accountability is in a dangerous position.
A plurality of elders is Biblically wise because it helps me make better decisions.
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Prov 15:22)
I would encourage you to go back and watch that sermon if you missed it.
This morning we are going to take a short detour and explore the other office within the church, that of deacon.