Paul writes to Titus that he should “put what remained [in the church in Crete] into order” (Titus 1:5). The church is like a broken nose that needs to be set right again in order to heal. Titus isn’t supposed to set it right himself. He should appoint elders in the church to do the hard work of helping the church become healthy and holy. The glory of God is the health and holiness of the church. And elders are called to foster glory in the church through humble servant leadership.
1. Healthy Life
Elders can’t help the church pursue spiritual health if they don’t have healthy lives themselves. Paul teaches that elders should be:
The chief repenters in the church - Jesus said, “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:44-45)
Leaders of a healthy household - If they can’t run their own households well, why would God trust them to run his?
Healthy in holiness - Elders model to the church what it means to walk in holiness.
2. Healthy Teaching
The one skill Paul says that elders need to have is how to teach God’s Word. Because the way the church knows Christ is through the teaching of Scripture!
In light of this passage, we should:
Learn from our elders
Submit to our elders
Hold our elders accountable
Thank God for our elders
Reflection & Application Questions
Why are elders supposed to be the chief repenters in the church?
Based on the standard that Paul describes, how healthy is your spiritual life?
How open are you to being rebuked by others when you need it? Why or why not?
How should you learn from and submit to the elders of the church? How does this honor God?
If you saw something that was crooked in an elder’s life, would you be willing to hold them accountable? Why or why not?
Is there anyone in our church that you think would make a good elder? Who and why?