“For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.” Titus 1:5-9
What makes a good leader? Who should lead? What qualifications should a leader possess?
Within the context of Spiritual leadership, Paul explains God’s standards to Titus in this passage of scripture.
Titus 1:5 shows us that leaders are appointed; they are not self-proclaimed or take the position of leadership by force. We know that that Paul himself was selected and sent out by God. In the same way, Paul charges Titus to carefully select leaders to oversee the churches of various cities.
In Titus 1:6, Paul explains that leaders must be blameless in their conduct with their families. An elder (or bishop) maintains a faithful and committed relationship with his wife. His children are cared for and they treat him with respect. Your family life says a lot about your spiritual state. Are you the same person in public as you are in private?
Titus 1:7-8 describe the nature characteristic of a Godly leader. At the foundation of it all, a leader is to recognize that he is a steward tending to a flock that does not belong to him. In recognition of this, a leader must adopt a position of humility and servitude. His responsibility is the welfare of others over his own. It is a lifestyle of dying to self for the good of those he leads. This is very different from the traditional view of leadership that is prominent in secular arenas.
Finally in Titus 1:9, one of the most important roles of a leader is to guide people to grow in the Lord. This is only made possible by correctly teaching them the Word. It’s disheartening to see some pastors stand before a congregation and preach incorrect doctrine. I’ve on occasion visited another church where the pastor was teaching on a topic and selected 18 verses as support. Of the 18 verses used, 15 were used completely out of context. What broke my heart even more was hearing the resounding “Amen” from the congregation over each misrepresented scripture. I’d like to hope that this pastor has good intentions, but certainly is ill-equiped to rightly divide the Word of truth.
In closing, let’s focus on one of the underlying themes of this passage: being blameless. In any one of the aforementioned areas, any indiscretion on the part of the leader can have devastating effects on those he leads. Leaders are to be the example to follow. The sad thing about sheep is that they will follow you right off the edge of a cliff if you lead them there.