The Assignment Given To Titus
Pastor Steve Ellison
The Apostle Paul established some churches on the island of Crete. When Paul moved on to set up new churches elsewhere, he left those churches in the capable hands of Titus. Paul had trained and equipped Titus for a special job. Titus 1:1-5 states, “Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, 3 but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior, 4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. 5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you.” NASU Paul knew that the churches he was leaving behind would desperately need capable leaders, so first of all Paul invested heavily in one man, Titus. Thus when the time came for the evangelist church planter, Paul, to depart, Titus would be ready to move those fledgling churches forward in discipleship. This preparation is just as important in today’s churches. No leaders stay forever, God always calls them somewhere else, either to be with Him or to another church. Church leaders must constantly be training and equipping others to take their place.
Paul left Titus with the assignment to “set in order what remains and appoint elders”. Each of those newborn churches would need leaders to guide them in their mission. The church is one entity that does not exist for its members. It exists for the glory of God and it exists for those who are not yet members. “Setting in order what remains” seems to mean organizing these new churches into effective functioning fellowships focused on giving glory to God through worship, evangelism, and discipleship. It seems that Titus was tasked with providing vision and mission for these churches. Titus 1:1 spells it out plainly. We are to seek knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness. The truth is good but it is never the end. Rather it is the means that leads to godliness.
Paul left Titus with a second assignment, “appointing elders in every city”. Once an organization has vision and mission in place, it needs good leaders who will guide the organization in implementing the vision and mission. Our churches are in dire need of good leaders. The late Howard Hendricks said that he knew of no church that could afford to hang out a sign that said “No help needed”. Good leadership is essential for the church. Much of the book of Titus is about developing good leaders. Skills are important but nowhere close to as important as moral purity and integrity. Integrity is what sets good leaders apart from bad leaders. If you give skills to a dishonest person, you have simply developed a better cheater.
We should remember that the qualifications and characteristics of leaders given in Titus as well as elsewhere in the Bible are meant as minimums that every Christian is expected to strive for. Every believer in Christ is called to be conformed to the image of Christ, not just leaders. So as you read Titus, whether you are a leader yet or not, remember that you ought to be striving to meet those minimum standards. If you are not yet a leader, you are intended to become one. ……..firstname.lastname@example.org