Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Titus in Smalltown

Read Titus 1:5-9
When Mr. Jones walked to the podium, all the members of First Community Church of Smalltown held their breath. He wanted to be chairman of the church and he had a speech prepared.

“I would like to be your leader,” he said with a deep voice of authority. “I know that you forgive easily and so will ignore the fact that all my children are drug lords in South America.

“Even though I have a wife here in Smalltown and another in Cityton, I don’t see that as relevant to my campaign. I pledge to tell you what you want to hear. Please don’t worry about the rumors that I get in fights when I’m angry. I never do that unless I am drunk and that only happens on Friday nights so it will not affect my duties here at all.

“My friends are anxious to join the church when I’m elected, and together we can re-work the church rules so they make you feel a whole lot better about yourself. I believe in truth as long it works for me. The Bible is a lovely suggestion and I follow it when I can make a little extra money doing so. Please vote for me!”

Hopefully, he wouldn’t get elected in your church.

Paul wrote to Titus to establish some guidelines for leadership. The temptation for the church in Crete was to follow those who could speak well, even if their ideas were as unusual as Mr. Jones’.
So what should they look for in a leader? Write down a few of the requirements Paul gave Titus in our passage.

Paul described a committed Christian in his advice to Titus. But there’s something very important in what Paul said.

Look at verse 9. How were church leaders to hold onto the trustworthy message? (note: the trustworthy message was that Jesus as the Son of God had died and risen to provide life for those who believed.)

Notice that leaders were to encourage others with sound doctrine. What else did Paul want them to do?

Not only must leaders walk in truth, but they must oppose those who don’t walk. Remember how Paul made the idea of truth so important in his introduction to this letter?

Now we’re starting to see why. Some people don’t treat truth as important. Paul knew many in Crete were not truthful and he wanted the church to stand firm on the trustworthy message.

Next: a reputation that stuck

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