True Leadership, 2
Topic: Church Leadership Passage: Titus 1:1–1:4
I would invite you this morning to open your Bibles with me to the book of Titus. That's the book we're going to be in this morning. We're looking at the book of Titus together. So, if you want to turn there with me. Chris just read from that a moment ago.
And as you're doing that, if you are joining us for this first time, we're in a series called the “How to Plant a Church” series, because that's what the book of Titus is about. This is about how to plant a church. It was written to tell Titus how to get a church started off the ground. Like all the churches at this time, the church he pastored was brand new or it was almost brand new because the church itself was new. As an institution, the church had only been around for a few years. According to most calculations, Jesus died around AD 33. There's a little debate about that, but that's the time range when the Lord died and rose again and ascended into heaven. This means the church could only be a few decades old at the time of this book. It hadn't been around for very long.
I grew up in a church, maybe some of you did as well, that started in 1836. And I remember that because it had an engraving on the corner of one of the buildings that said, “Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone, established in 1836.” That's when the Civil War broke out. That's when that church was planted, during the Civil War. Nobody could say that at the time this book was written. There were no churches that had been around for hundreds of years. They were all just starting out. The church in Rome, the church in Corinth, the church in Galatia, when you read the New Testament - those are all church plants, because everything was a church plant at this time.
If you look through the book of Titus (a couple things to point out here), verse 5 says they didn't have any elders yet. They were so brand new that Titus had to appoint them. And if you read through the book, you'll notice they didn't have any deacons either. In fact, deacons are not even mentioned at all because it seems like they weren't even ready for that yet. Chapter 2 says they didn't have any women's ministries and men's ministries going on. Those were two areas of focus for Titus to pay attention to. They didn't have any family ministry. So, if they were around today, we would let them borrow Dr. Street for the weekend.
Chapter 3 says they had divisions in the church as well. And some men were so bad that they had to be removed from the fellowship and thrown out because this was all just getting started, and it was Titus’ job to deal with all that. That's why Paul left him in Crete. It was his job to step into that situation and sort things out, which would have been overwhelming for him. So, Paul goes through the letter and he says, “Just deal with it one step at a time.” Some of you have heard the way to eat an elephant. You guys ever heard this? You eat it one bite at a time, right? (I'm pausing for laughter, but I'm not getting any, so I'm just going to keep moving here). Otherwise you'll choke on it. It's too big. It's the same way with the church here. Paul says, “Titus, you're going to have to deal with this one problem at a time. You're going to have to deal with it one issue at a time, and let me just lay it out for you.” And that's what this book is about.
And it's a great book for us to go through because we can relate to that here at Grace Fellowship. We're a church plant. We are a brand new church; three, four years old. And fortunately, we don't have the problems they had. We don't have to throw anybody out yet. But we certainly have our work cut out for us. Sometimes, it kind of feels like we're swallowing an elephant. I was talking with someone the other day about a question they had, and they said, “Why is this taking so long? Why is it taking you so long to give me an answer?” And I said, “Because we've never dealt with this before. This is the first time. And anytime you do something for the first time, it takes a while to get it done.” Someone else asked, “Why aren't we doing ministry in this area or why aren't we pouring time into this or that?” And I said the same thing, because we're new and it takes time to get to everything. You can't do it all at once. You have to swallow it one bite at a time. In fact, I have been amazed at how much we've been able to do so far, amen? It's been amazing to see all the ministries we've been able to do as a church. And it's because of you. You get this, you understand the importance of the church.
They say that the difference between a pig and a chicken when it comes to breakfast, is that the chicken contributes but the pig is committed. Got a little laughter that time, I was waiting for … I'm not going to call you guys a bunch of pigs. That doesn't come off right. But you are committed, you get that. You're all in and it shows.
I came across a little plaque that was hanging up in an old country church that said this. It said,
This is my church. It's composed of people just like me. It will be friendly if I'm friendly. It will be gracious if I am gracious. It will reach people for Christ if I reach them, and it will tell them the gospel if I tell them. Therefore, with God's help, I dedicate myself to the task of being all the things I want this church to be and doing all the things I want this church to do, for it is my church.
That’s good, isn’t it? This is our church. It will only go so far as we take it. And we could also say that this is Christ church. It belongs to Him. And we can only do it with His help.
If you think about it, the church is the only institution that Jesus promised to build. When He was on the earth, Jesus could have built a seminary, right? It would have been the best seminary ever in the history of mankind. He could have built an orphanage. He would have been wonderful at that, He loved children. He could have built a hospital and stayed on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and just healed people all day long. He could have done any of those things, but He built a church.
He built what we have here, which means that the church has a special place in His heart. It has a special place in the kingdom. You can't love Christ without loving His church. You can't follow Him without getting this. We could also add that it's always been that way. Second Timothy 1:9 says our salvation was granted to us before time began. This means that's when Jesus started loving His church before time began, before any of us were even here. Ephesians 1:4 says, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world,” which means that's how long He's been thinking about the church. This means He'll never give up on it. Jesus will never say, “I'm done with the church.” You would think at this point in history, in 2019, Jesus would say, “I've had enough of this.” Right? “I tell Christians to do things and they don't listen to Me. I tell them to have peace and get along and they fight all the time. They fight like wet cats.” He'll never say that. Jesus will never say, “I give up on the church,” and we should never say that either. The church is still precious to Him.
It's been said that the fastest growing religion in Canada right now is the non-churched, people who are giving up on the church. It's not the Muslims, it's not the Buddhist. It's not the Hindus or the Sikhs. It's people who grew up in church but are leaving it now. And according to some statistics, the number one reason they leave is hypocrisy. They say the church is all fake to them. But that doesn't take away from the fact that the real church is precious to Christ. He'll never give up on it. We shouldn't either. John Calvin said, “So highly does the Lord esteem His church that He considers anyone a traitor who turns his back on it completely.” R. Kent Hughes said, “Just like a husband doesn't have to go home to be married, so a person doesn't have to go to church to be a Christian, but he will have a very poor relationship with God if he doesn't.”
I just saw the children walking down the hallway and it reminded me of this story. A young child was one standing on top of the pews at church and looking around and playing, until her mother grabbed her and told her to quit. And at which point, the little girl broke out in tears. And so, the mother says, “That's better. You need to remember that you're in church.” I think we've all experienced that before. We've all cried in church, but we need to remember God actually enjoys being here, amen? God actually enjoys coming to church because it's precious to Him. And that's what the book of Titus is about. This is what Jesus wants to see in His church. This is what He wants to see when he comes to this precious place. It's all laid out for us here in just three short chapters.
Verse 5 says, you need to start with the leaders. This is the first thing on the list. Paul tells Titus to put qualified men in office because he can't do it alone. The elephant’s too big, the job is too hard. So, he tells him to appoint some elders. If you look in verse 5, I'll just read this to you, but it says, “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.”
The word “appoint” there is an interesting word because it's plural. Which means that this is something the whole church was to be involved in. They were to appoint elders together. Titus was not to do this by himself. The elders would represent all of them. So, they are all to be involved in this. With Titus’s oversight. Paul doesn't tell them how to do that. He doesn't give us the details. So, there's some freedom here. But he does go on, if you've read this book before you'll know he goes on, to tell them what to look for in leaders. He tells them what kind of men to put in office.
And even before he gets there, Paul starts off by telling them about his qualifications by way of example. Paul was an elder in churches. He had planted churches. And so, he begins the book in verse 1 by saying he was an apostle and a bond-servant of God. Those were his titles. And then he says that he upheld the faith of the chosen in verse 1, as well, and he did it according to godliness. In other words, he was a godly man. He did not take his sin lightly. Verse 2, he says that he did it with a sense of hope. Which means he had great hope for the work in Crete. He had great expectations. And then he goes on to give us some more qualifications that I want to talk to you about today.
But let's just answer the question this morning, what does a leader look like in a church? Do you ever wonder that? I think we all have. What does an elder look like? If we had elders in our church (I am an elder here at grace fellowship), how do you spot them? Do they have a big “E” on their forehead? Are they the best looking guys in the church or the richest guys? Do they drive the biggest cars or wear the nicest clothes? What about their children? That's a convicting one. Do they have the perfect family? Are their children saved at the age of two and attending Bible College at the age of 10? Do they come to church with a rainbow over them, everybody holding hands and happy? Those are important questions, because if we're going to appoint them together as verse 5 says, if this is something we're all going to do as a church body, you need to know what to look for you. You need to know what an elder is or how to identify one of them. And so, that's how Paul starts off this letter. This is so important that he actually spends the entire first chapter talking about this issue of leadership. Let's just look at what he says this morning.
If you're taking notes in Titus 1:2-4, I want to give you four characteristics or four more characteristics of a true leader in the church. We've looked at some of these before. We went through the list last time when we were in Titus, but we couldn't get to them all. They were too many. So, to finish up, let me give you four more characteristics for a true leader in the church.
The first one is this, a true leader has an eternal perspective. That's one way you can identify a true leader in the church. He has an eternal perspective. He focuses on eternal things. Not earthly things like clothes or cars or his looks. He focuses on holiness and godliness and things like that. That's the first way to identify a true leader. You guys have heard the saying that a man is so heavenly-minded that he's no earthly good. You guys ever heard that? Does that sound familiar? I think it's actually backwards. Paul says, a man is no earthly good until he is heavenly-minded. You want leaders that focus on the things of eternity. And he says it this way, if you look in verses 1 through 2. Paul writes, it says, “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 in accordance to godliness, in the hope of eternal life.” I told you before that verses 1 through 4 form one long sentence in Greek that has 10 different prepositions in it, which means it's hard to follow. If you just read this, it turns this way and that. Paul had sanctified, I would call it ADD. He just went all over the place at times. If you've read his letters, you know that. But the idea here is simple, this is why Paul was qualified to lead the church. This is why he was an elder. And he says in verse 2, he could do it, he was qualified for leadership because he serves, it says, verse 2, in the hope of eternal life.
The word “in” there is a locative word, which means, it refers to a location. When you go into something, you change your location, right? You guys left the frigid cold of Canada this morning and came in the building. (I was really looking forward to one whole winter like you guys described when I was candidating. I thought it would be palm trees and sipping sweet tea all winter.) When you came into the building and you changed the whole sphere of things, right? Paul says, a leader does that with eternity. His mind goes from this to that. It goes from this world to the eternal world. We could say it this way, for a man to be ready to lead the church, the things of this world should have no attraction for him anymore. Money, power, respect - that has no appeal. It's not even on the radar, because his mind is fixed on the things of God. That's why you can't identify this guy by the clothes that he wears, because you're looking for deeper things.
The phrase “eternal life” in verse 2, it means “life that never ends” or “life that lasts forever”. It's a reference to heaven where we'll spend forever with God. But there are several implications there. One implication is that this man knows that he will be accountable to God for how he leads the church. Which is important to mention because I need to tell you (and you may know this), it's easy to lose perspective in ministry. It's easy to get so caught up in the phone calls and emails and text messages, that you forget there's more important things out there. You get so caught up in board meetings, budget meetings, conference meetings, counselling meetings that you can lose all thought of eternity if you're not careful.
We've all met pastors or church leaders who don't care anymore, right? They're just in it to get paid. They're just in it for the power. They just want to know, “Do I still have control over the church? Am I still the one in charge?” Paul says, “That's not what I'm in this for.” Paul didn't get paid a cent anyway. He says, “I only care about the hope of eternal life, which means I don't care how much I get paid as long as God gets the glory. I don't care who's in control as long as God is in control.”
To say it another way, you shouldn't look for rich men when you're choosing leaders. I talked to a church years and years ago about a particular elder they had. And this person and member in the church said, “Oh, well, he's an elder because he's the richest guy in the church.” Really? You never would have made Jesus and elder then, right? He was homeless. It's okay if a man has money, but we don't look for that, we look for eternal things.
I was talking with another church years ago before coming here, and I asked an elder board, what are you looking for in a teaching pastor? Because I was trying to get a gauge as to what they wanted. And they said, “Someone who will fill the pews.” And I waited to see what else they had to say and that was it. They just wanted someone to keep the numbers up. You don't want a man like that in leadership. You don't want a man like that in ministry because there's a lot of bad ways to fill the pews. There's a lot of bad ways to keep numbers up. You want a man who's focused on eternity and you want that so he can help you focus on eternity too, amen?
You want a man who can help you think past the things of this life. You guys know what it's like. You lose perspective, right? You forget that there's more out there than this life. You come to church after a long week of work - I've told friends that we've talked to from outside of Chilliwack, I said, “Chilliwack’s growing. This town's getting bigger, which is a blessing. But the challenge is I can see this on our men's faces, they're being stretched to accommodate the growth in this town.” And you come in after 40 or 50 or 60 hours of work and you're tired, you're worn out. And the kids are grouchy and the wife is sick and you got emails to answer. You got text messages coming in, and you need someone to remind you that there's more to life than this. You need someone to remind you that there's a whole other world out there where one day you will meet God. You need leaders to tell you that every week. Or if you're a stay at home mom - I watch one of those all the time by the way. It's a hard job. You stay with the kids all week and it's just kids, kids, kids for you. It's just babies, babies, babies, cheerios, diapers and tears. Those are the three things in your world, and you definitely need someone to remind you of - you need to talk to an adult; someone who doesn't cry or call your name every five minutes. It's the job of a leader to help you with that, to point your mind to eternal things.
If you read all of Paul's letters, you'll see this is what he did over and over again. He pointed people to heaven, he pointed people to Christ, he pointed people to God. And he reminded them that there's more to life than this world.
In fact, we heard about this last week when Andrew Larson was here, but Paul had a bad life, amen? He had a hard life. And he was thinking about eternity from places like prison cells, when he was starving. That's what a leader does. That's his job. It was said that D. L. Moody was walking down the streets of Chicago one day when he asked a man if he was a Christian. He asked this man if he knew Christ, and the man said, “That's none of your business.” To which D. L. Moody said, “Actually, that is my business.” He says, “That is most certainly my business.” And the man said, “You must be Moody then.” Friends, this is our business. Leaders deal in eternal things in the church.
That leads to a second characteristic of a true leader. A second one that we're going to look at today. Again, we're continuing this list from the last time we were together. The second one is that a true leader trusts in God. First, he has an eternal perspective, his mind is fixed on the things of eternity, on the things of heaven. He does what he does in the hope of eternal life. But he does it secondly because he trusts in God. He has an implicit faith that every word of the Lord is true. You have to have that in leadership. You have to have some convictions because nobody wants to follow a coward, amen? Do you guys want to follow a coward? You don’t want to follow a man who’s wishy washy, he changes his mind all the time. And Paul says this when he says it this way in verses 1 through 2. Actually, let me just continue on in verse 2. He says, he does all of this “in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago.”
That phrase “which God who cannot lie, promised long ages ago” qualifies the phrase “eternal life”. In other words, this is where Paul's hope comes from. This is why he focused on eternal things, because God who cannot lie, promised it long ages ago. Some of your translations say God promised it before the ages began. But the idea is that Paul understood that and he hoped in that, and that gave him confidence to lead the church. He says, “God's Word doesn't change and therefore, I trust in that.”
I was doing some study on this (and to unpack that a little bit), I came across a sermon that Charles Spurgeon preached on May 1864 entitled “What God Cannot Do”, and Spurgeon said, God cannot lie. He says, God cannot go back on His Word for several reasons. One is, He has no reason to. What could possibly tempt God to lie? Why would God ever want to lie? And he said, God can’t lie because He can't change His mind. It's not possible for Him to do that. Malachi 3:6 says, “For I the Lord do not change.” And he said, God cannot lie because He's all knowing. He knows the end from the beginning. Sometimes we tell a lie because there's something that comes up we were not aware of. God is aware of everything. And he says, God cannot lie because He's all powerful. Nothing could ever force God to lie. He says, as a result of that, the logical conclusion to all of this, is that you need to trust Him. I mean, if God cannot lie, if every word He says is true and if nothing could ever change His mind, force Him to change, you need to believe what God says, especially if you're a leader. As we talked about already, especially if other people are following you and depending on you to teach them about eternal things, you need to have an implicit trust in God.
Leadership can be hard on a man, and if he's not trusting in God, he's going to want to quit. Talking with some of you, it sounds like it's that way in the secular world as well, it's that way in the church. And I haven’t experienced this here because you guys have been great to me. This has been a wonderful place to serve. So, this is not my pity party. This has nothing to do with me. This is just what the text is talking about.
A pastor in North Carolina once passed out a survey to his church asking them what they thought he should do, what their expectations were. And when the results came back, he counted it all up and he found out they wanted him to work 120 hours a week. They wanted him to visit everybody in the church once a month. (The church had 500 people in it.) They wanted him to write books, get his doctorate and evangelize twice a day. And he was so discouraged at the survey that he quit. He gave up the ministry. And my point is, and Paul's point here is that your hope needs to be in something greater than that or you're going to want to be discouraged. You need to trust in the God who cannot lie. You need to trust that this is His church and He will take care of it. You need to trust that this is His calling on your life and He will see you through.
By the way, I need to mention it, if you take this whole phrase together, “the hope of eternal life, which God who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,” - that long phrase is just another way of saying salvation. This is what a leader must ultimately trust in. This is where his confidence lies, in the gospel, in salvation, in seeing sinners saved. I don’t know about you guys, but one of my greatest joys in life is watching baptisms, right? Because it's a reflection of seeing a sinner saved. That's why we do this. That's why we're in the ministry. Paul says, that was his greatest joy as well.
W. A. Criswell, the former pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas once said, “There's something wrong with a man who is charged with delivering the greatest news in all the world, if he does it with no conviction. If he gives up at the drop of a hat and quits when the going gets tough, who's going to believe him? Who's going to follow a man like that?” Paul says, “I don't give up like that.” Another author said that too. A leader needs to have what he calls “sanctified madness”. I like that phrase. You can write it down in your notes if you want to. But he needs to have sanctified madness. He needs to trust in God to the point that he's almost insane. And he said,
The preacher is beside himself, he's a lunatic, a madman, a crazy person. For the dangers of the human soul drive him to a frenzy as he tries to warn sinners of their plight. Preaching today is often passive and weak and apathetic because preachers have no passion. How do we change that? How do we turn it around? The answer is simple, preachers and leaders of the church must become gospel maniacs. They become captivated and re-captivated by the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel. They trust it to the point of mania. No trust means no mania. No mania means no fire, and no fire means no real preaching of the good news.
I just mentioned a moment ago, you don't want to follow a coward. Does anybody want to follow a man with no passion?
We can say it this way, if you honestly think that there are people in this congregation, some of them are headed to hell, you’re going to be maniacal about it, right? You're going to be desperate. Paul says he led that way. There was a certain desperation with the way Paul handled himself. And there needs to be a certain desperation with every elder. We're desperate to save sinners, we're desperate to save souls, we're desperate to save families, we’re desperate to save marriages, on and on and on and on.
That leads to a third characteristic for a true leader in the church and it goes right along with that. And that is he preaches the Word. We've already said a little bit about this in the last one, so I won't say much here. But an elder or a true leader in the church preaches the Word of God. He does other things, as we've seen. There are other qualifications for office, but one qualification is he has to be able to communicate the Word of God to people.
Paul goes on and I'll read this whole section just to get the perspective of it. If you look in verse 1, we'll read through verse 3. But he says,
1 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.
Again, that's kind of hard to read because it twists this way in that. But if you pick up at verse 3, Paul says, he mentions the word “proclamation”, which is the Greek word kerugma which means “to preach”. Some of your translations actually say “preach” there. This word was used of a courier who was sent out by a king to deliver his message. The king couldn't go himself if the kingdom was too big, so he sent messengers. And Paul says, “That's what I do, I am a messenger. I stand in the town square and I preach God's Word to people.” Verse 2 says that God promised us eternal life long ages ago, but at the proper time when Jesus came, it was manifested to us. Jesus made eternal life and God's Word known to us. And Paul says, “It's my job to proclaim that now.”
It's almost like he's looking back on a thousand years of Jewish history as a Jew himself, saying, “All these wonderful things happened in my people's history, but now Jesus came and fulfilled all of it, and I'm able to preach it to you.” He says, “I do it according to the commandment of God our Saviour.” That might be a reference to Paul's commission as an apostle in Acts chapter 9. When the Lord saved him on the Damascus road, Jesus told Paul that, “He would bear my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel.” Which means several things. One thing it means is that it was not Paul's job to make Jesus cute and attractive and friendly, it was Paul's job to make Jesus known. That was his job. He just laid it out there. It wasn't Paul's job to make Jesus cultural and relevant and put black clothes on Him and stick an iPhone in His hand. (Nothing wrong with black clothes and an iPhone. It seems like every time someone talks about “relevant” as a preacher, you see him preaching and that's what he's doing. He's got his iPhone and … okay, maybe you guys don't look at the things I do. You're looking at me like you don't know what I'm talking about, so that's all right. It's not the first time I've seen that expression when I'm preaching.)
Paul's job was not to change the message, his job was just to deliver it. In that day, a messenger could get in a lot of trouble for changing the message of the king. He could get his tongue cut out or worse. Paul says, “God has given me a Word to proclaim, and that is what I will do.” And that's what you want your leaders to do. Leaders are teachers in the church. They’re preachers, which is another way of saying the same thing. We want to tell people the Bible.
I was preaching at a church in the States when a lady came up to me after the service and she said, “Pastor Jeremy, are you just interested in Jesus and in the Bible when you preach?” I said, “Yes.” I said, “What else do you want me to talk about? The Super Bowl? I wasn't called to do that. The King didn't send me to talk about sports and the weather.” This is what leaders do. Let me say it like this because this is important. Jesus was a preacher, wasn't He? That's always given me a great job confidence. Jesus was primarily a teacher of the Word, and all the leaders after Him did that. Peter and Paul were preachers. They gave us the Word of God. They wrote out the Bible for us. So were James and John. They preached sermon after sermon after sermon. Barnabas and Apollos were preachers. Timothy and Titus were preachers. Which means if it worked for them, it'll work for us. If they changed the world back then, the preaching of the Word of God, it will change our world today. Listen, their world was not any worse than ours. Their society was not worse. If it worked back then, it'll work today.
In a British newspaper called “The Glass Window”, a letter was published that said, “I don't know why sermons are so important because I've been attending church for 30 years and I can't remember a single one of them.” It said, “I wonder if a pastor's job might be better spent somewhere else.” To which, someone else wrote a letter and replied to that in the newspaper. And they said, “I've been married for 30 years and I can't remember a single meal my wife ever prepared, but it kept me alive.” That's the job of a leader in the church. You want someone who will keep you alive with the Word of God, who will feed you Scripture.
And I’d like to say more about that, but let's move on to one more characteristic for a leader. Just to review what we've looked at. First, Paul says that a true leader has an eternal perspective. He has his mind fixed on the things of eternity, on the things of heaven. Secondly, he trusts in God. He has convictions. He leads with passion, with a “sanctified madness” as one man called it. Third characteristic, he preaches the word and he feeds people. He stands up in the church, in the town square and he gives the message of the king. It brings us to a fourth and one more final characteristic we see in verse 4. And this one really sums it up. It just brings it all together. But a final characteristic is this, a true leader makes disciples. That's just really what it all comes down to at the end of the day. A true leader makes disciples. He has an eternal perspective. He trusts in God, he preaches the Word all in order to do this. This is the end result. This is the end goal.
It only makes sense that you can't be a leader if nobody is following you, right? You can't be a shepherd if there aren't any sheep that you're helping. And this is what a leader does. In Paul's own words in verse 4, he gives us an example from his own life. And he says, “To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.” I'll say more about this next time, so I’ll only just say a few words here. We'll get into verse 4 more later.
This is the first time Paul mentions Titus in the letter. It’s the only time really. He kind of mentions his name and he keeps going. I told you verses 1 through 4 form one long sentence in Greek. It's one big idea, and the idea is that of an introduction. So, from verse 1 to verse 4, it's broken up in most English Bibles. But in Greek, this is one sentence. And it starts off with Paul introducing himself and now, he introduces Titus. And he calls him (this is what I want to focus on in this verse this morning) “My true child in a common faith.”
The word “child” there is the Greek word teknon, which means a natural child or a biological child. And the word “true” means “lawful”. So, Paul says, “Titus is my lawful biological child in the faith.” It's kind of a play on words there. But the idea is that, “I evangelized him, I discipled him, I trained him up in the Christian faith, so he is like a son to me. He is like a disciple. I'm sending you Titus. This man will do what I would do. This man would say what I would say, he's like a chip off the old block.” Which doesn't mean Titus wasn't his own man - he was. I told you earlier, there's a lot of freedom Paul gives him in this letter. Paul doesn't tell him how to do everything. It doesn't mean Titus could make his own decisions. It just means Paul discipled him, because that's what leaders do.
It's been said, if you want to make a disciple, just find someone who knows less about Jesus than you do, and tell him what you know. And Paul did that with Titus. He took a man who knew less about Jesus than he did, and he told him what he knew. It's also been said that the church doesn't make disciples, disciples make disciples. People make disciples. And Paul gives you an example of that here. This is someone he personally led to the Lord. In his commentary on Acts, W. A. Criswell tells about a woman who led Richard Baxter to the Lord, who went on to write a book called “The Call of the Unconverted”, which led a man named Philip Doddridge to the Lord, who wrote a book called “The Rise and Progress of Religion”, which led William Wilberforce to the Lord, who wrote a book called “A Practical View of Christianity”, which led Legh Richmond to the Lord, who wrote a little track called “The Dairyman’s Daughter”, which lead thousands to the Lord. But that all started somewhere. It started with an anonymous woman. But this is what leaders do. They start the process of discipleship. They get the ball rolling.
Another way to say this is you want a leader that doesn't ask you to do something he's not already doing himself. You don't want to put a guy into office and say, “Boy, I hope he's going to influence somebody for Christ.” You want to put a guy in office who already is influencing somebody for Christ.
You guys have heard the difference between a butcher and a shepherd. A butcher leads from behind, a shepherd leads out in front. There was a family walking down a street in Jerusalem or outside of Israel one day, and they saw a man walking behind a bunch of sheep. And they said, “What's that?” They said, “That's the butcher.” A butcher drives you, but a shepherd guide you. A butcher pushes, but a shepherd gently brings you along.
I mention that because as I told you earlier a couple of weeks ago, we feel like we're ready to do this as a church. We feel like we're ready to follow Paul's instructions here and begin the discussion of appointing elders, which means we want to look for leaders among us. We want to look for men that are ready for eldership and to appoint them together. We talked about that a moment ago. Verse 5 tells us to do this as a church together. We have a couple of steps that we need to follow first.
For instance, we need to install some new bylaws because our current ones don't actually give us a process to follow in doing that. They don't really tell us how to appoint elders as a church. And so, we plan on installing some new ones in the month of March. Lyndon Unger helped us work on those. I see Lyndon, the brother over here. Those are really long and they have big words in them. Thank you Lyndon. He did a great job with that, so shake his hand. Right now, the lawyers are looking at them to make sure that everything's okay and according to law. But as soon as they're done, we will send them to you and give you a chance to read them, ask questions about them. We'll probably have maybe some Q&A meetings after church to discuss them if you have some questions. And then when you're comfortable with them, we’ll adopt them and follow them to appoint elders.
Again, together as a church body. This is your church. I've already said that. This is what you make it to be and they will be your elders, so you need to be part of the process. This means you need to be involved in identifying them. You need to know what to look for, how to identify an elder. And we're going to be talking about that in the weeks to come because this whole chapter talks about that. But Paul says, “You don't do it by finding the best looking guy in the church or the richest guy. You don't find elders by seeing the man with the biggest car or the nicest clothes. His kids don't have to be perfect, but he does need to lead you like a shepherd would. At the most basic level, he needs to help you make disciples and show you how to lead people to the Lord,” as Paul did here.
During the American Revolution, a group of soldiers were building a wall and getting ridiculed by their commanding officer for doing it. He kept yelling at them and criticizing them, until a man rode up in civilian clothes and offered to help them. And the man didn't say a word. He just got down off his horse and helped them build this wall. And when they were done, when the wall was built, he said to the commanding officer who was so rude to the soldiers, he said, “When the men need further assistance, call on me and I will come help them. My name is George Washington, I’m the general of this army.” I say that to say, you want men who will lead like that in the church. You want men who will come down off of the horse (I had my quotation marks here) and build with us. This is our church. We're all in this together. And it's Christ church. It is precious to Him and we want leaders who understand that. And let's pray as we go through the process of looking for them that the Lord will be gracious to us and give us unity in this.
Father, we thank you Lord, for Your Word here in the book of Titus. We thank you for all it says about so many elements of the church life. We're just scratching the surface here on the topic of leadership, but it goes into so many things. We pray Father, as we study this, that this would give us insight into what to do as a church. We want to build this ministry on the Word of God. We want to build this on Jesus Christ and His teachings. So, Father, we pray that this study would bear fruit in the years to come, Christ would be glorified.
Lord, thank you for making us a part of Your church. Thank you for letting us be part of this precious thing, this eternal thing You promised ages ago. Lord, I pray for if there's any here who don't know Christ. We're talking about all these things of salvation and eternal life - if there's any here who don't know the Saviour, they would come to faith this morning. For those who are saved, Lord, I pray this would encourage them. Thank you for our time, and we pray this in Jesus' name, amen.