Today’s passage brings about the section titled “Qualifications for Elders.” Now, to some, this may not seem important. The temptation is to skip this part because you are not called to be an elder. But I remind you again of 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” All of the words of Scripture are helpful for us, and we should give them our attention.
In this passage, we find that Paul has stationed young Titus in Crete, which is an island located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, south of Corinth and Athens. Titus has been made to “appoint elders in every town…” This is an important task that should not be taken lightly. It was important that Titus not be frivolous in choosing and appointing these elders. These people were responsible for the spiritual growth of many congregations in an extremely formative time of the church.
We often think of Paul’s qualifications for elders as a really strict list, but we should desire to hold those who are in the office of elder to higher standard. They are responsible for preaching the word of God, leading the church, and discipling the body of Christ. Paul viewed eldership, or the pastorate, as a high and noble calling, and wanted them to be above reproach.
Everyone involved in church needs to know the qualifications for elders. This passage is not just for pastors. This passage is for the whole church. In my denomination, many churches are congregational, and pastors must be approved by a congregational vote. The congregations need to know how God intends his church’s pastors to look and act. God desires men who are faithful husbands, strong leaders of their households, good followers and leaders, capable of exercising self-control at all times, disciplined, faithful, and able to teach sound doctrine. The church must recognize these attributes in their leadership and potential leadership. This allows the church to hold their pastors to a high standard but also to keep them in check.
We must be careful not to add or take away from this list. Don’t place a burden upon your pastor that is not even listed biblically. He is under enough scrutiny by these commands. Prayerfully support your elders and pastors by praying through this list. Pray that they may be encouraged and strengthened to follow the words of Scripture and uphold, by the power of the Spirit, these qualifications.
This a good and wholesome list to know. Pray through these qualifications as you are daily lifting up your pastor(s) in prayer. They will not be perfect, as Titus and Paul were not perfect. They will mess up. We all have. But the grace of Jesus Christ is revealed everyday, and his mercies are new each morning. Your pastor needs those mercies just as much as you do. Pray that your church will be faithful to the Word of God and give glory to God through its ministries. If your pastors uphold these qualifications, your church’s ministries will point people to the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, bringing glory to God in heaven.
Soli Deo Gloria.