Summary: A sermon examining the roles and responsibilities in the local church.
Roles And Responsibilities
In our church bylaws and constitution there is a "job description" concerning the pastor of this church. It lays out the general expectations and responsibilities of the church pastor. It reads (among other things): The pastor will give himself to the ministry of the Word and the leadership of the congregation. He shall have supervision of the activities of the church, and shall be an ex-officio member or all committees. He shall examine all candidates for baptism as to their conversion and instruct all new members in the duties and privileges of membership.
Chances are pretty good that wherever you work there is a job description that describes what is expected of you. A job description contains general tasks, functions, and responsibilities of a specific position.
It usually contains salary range and physical requirements and certain qualifications or necessary skills. It describes certain roles and responsibilities specific to that position.
Through the Bible we are told that there are certain roles and responsibilities for different Christians. In certain passages... the roles, responsibilities and requirements for Deacons are clearly defined. Elsewhere we are told what is expected of those who teach. In Titus and I Timothy, Paul covers the roles, responsibilities and requirements of Elders and Pastors. The entire Bible is a guide that tells us what is expected of each of us as Christians. In Titus Chapter 2 we find a passage that clearly states the expectations for some specific groups of Christians.
Remember the context of this Epistle. Paul is instructing Titus as to how to "set things in order" in the Church. In these 8 verses he addresses the responsibilities of older men, younger men, older women and younger women. I would like to walk through this text and preach on "Roles And Responsibilities In The Church".
It is vitally important that we understand and fulfill our responsibilities as Christians. We also must comprehend the fact that there are consequences when we fail to carry out our duties.
- Some years ago a former American astronaut took over as head of a major airline, determined to make the airline’s service the best in the industry. One day he walked through a particular department, and saw an employee resting his feet on a desk while the telephone on the desk rang incessantly. “Aren’t you going to answer that phone?” the boss demanded. “This isn’t my department,” answered the employee nonchalantly, apparently not recognizing his new boss. “I work in maintenance.” “Not anymore you don’t!” snapped the president. (Today in the Word, MBI, December, 1989, p. 35).
Without a doubt there are some in the church who refuse to do certain tasks because they feel that "it isn't their responsibility". But I am certain that there are some who simply do not know what their responsibility is. This passage goes to great lengths to explain the responsibilities of certain individuals in the church. So, let's get started with what God expects from the older men in the church. Join me in verses 1&2 as we consider:
I. The Role And Responsibilities Of The Older Men - v1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
Paul is drawing a contrast between the faithful Christian man and those false teachers who were causing great harm in the church at Crete. Consider how he described those false teachers. He said In Titus 1:10-15 that they were unruly and vain, they were deceptive liars, to them nothing was pure, their mind and conscience is defiled, they were motivated by money, and they were lazy. He goes on to say in v16 says that "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate".
The older men in the church are encouraged to pursue a different path. They are instructed to live in a manner that would please the Lord. If they would follow these instructions they would be an example that others could follow. Let's look at those instructions for the older men. The first expectation of the older men in the church is that they are to:
A. Be a teacher - v1 "speak thou the things which become sound doctrine"
The "older men" are expected to teach or instruct. This not only means to teach in the sense of instructing others, but also they should live as an example for others. What they are supposed to teach is clear...sound doctrine. This is literally "healthy teaching". Sound doctrine is the direct opposite of the myths and fables taught by the false prophets. In order for them to teach correctly, the older men are instructed to:
B. Be sober - v2 "That the aged men be sober"