November 26, 2013
READ: Titus 1:1-9
An elder must live a blameless life. . . . An elder is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life (vv.6-7).
Many people trust their pharmacists more than their pastors! According to a 2012 poll, respondents were asked to rate the “honesty and ethical standards” of 22 different professions. Seventy-five percent ranked pharmacists as high/very high. Car salesmen and members of congress were trusted least. Sadly church leaders ranked eighth, and only one in two said the ones they know are men of integrity.
Paul had left Titus on the island of Crete to lead the unfinished work there. He was to “appoint elders in each town” (Titus 1:5). But what kind of man was Titus to appoint to church leadership?
“An elder must live a blameless life” ranked first of the 17 qualifications (vv.5-9), a quality so important that Paul repeated it (v.7): “An elder is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life.” Why is this so important? Damage to a church leader’s reputation is damage to God’s reputation (Nehemiah 5:9; Romans 2:24; 1 Peter 2:12).
A church leader “must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent or dishonest with money” (Titus 1:7). But he should be hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined (v.8). Not only must a leader meet high moral standards in his personal life; he must have a strong grasp and understanding of God’s Word—firmly holding to it, able to teach it to encourage others and refuting those who oppose it (v.9; 2 Timothy 2:15).
An elder “must live a blameless life” (Titus 1:6-7). The person who leads God’s church should possess high moral character and a godly reputation (1 Timothy 3:7). Compromising on these qualifications may be the reason many people trust their pharmacists more than their pastors. —K.T. Sim
Read 1 Timothy 3:1-13 to see what else Paul says about the qualifications for church leadership.
Why do we sometimes choose church leaders based on their abilities instead of their character and spirituality? What qualities do you feel are most important for a church leader?