Pastoring in a godless culture!
Scripture reading for October 26th: Titus 1:1-16
Titus was a Greek convert of Paul’s who was called by God to be a leader in the church. Paul recognized God’s call on this young man and worked with him to help him mature and learn how to lead and organize an effective church in a pagan culture. He left him in Crete to continue the work that Paul had started there. Paul considered Titus a ‘true son’ in the faith that they shared in Jesus Christ.
Leaders in the church must meet certain character qualifications in order to be effective. The goal of good leadership is to see people won to faith in Jesus Christ through the Gospel and then to see people live godly lives as they expectantly work and wait for the soon return of Jesus. Paul listed these qualification again for Titus as he did for Timothy, his other son in the faith. Good elders must be blameless and have their families under control. They must be free from moral vices and love what is good, according to Scripture. They must be hospitable and able to teach others what they know and live from God’s word. They must be able to refute those who oppose the truth as well as encourage those who are open and growing. (Titus 1:5-9)
Being a pastor involves working with people of all backgrounds and maturity levels. Pastoral ministry requires patience and persistence in doing good. A pastor must always realize that they are representing God and His word to the people in how they teach as well as how they live.
Paul cautioned Titus to beware of some rebellious people who were of the circumcision party. These people really did not believe but were using their religion for gain. Paul told Titus to rebuke them sharply that they might be delivered from the Jewish myths that they were pedaling. (Titus 1:10-13) These people were really not believers in Jesus Christ or the Gospel. Their minds and consciences had been corrupted with the false teaching of legalism. “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for doing anything good.”
The Gospel of Christ produces faith which leads to obedience to the truth and godly living. False teaching leads to strife and division. Pastors must be strong to teach and live the truth by faith.