Looking for Leaders
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 119:33-40 | Jeremiah 49:23-50:46 | Titus 1:1-16 | Proverbs 26:13-16
Today’s Scripture Focus: Titus 1
“The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.” (Titus 1:5 NIV)
Good leadership is crucial to any organization. Good, spiritual leadership is essential to a healthy church. Paul’s instruction to Titus is a reminder of this. He reminds him of the kinds of qualities to look for in choosing leaders. So what qualities are important in choosing leaders in the church?
Paul tells Titus to look to the home life. Are they faithful to their spouse? If they have children, how did or are they doing in raising them? One’s management of their home life can be an indicator of readiness for leadership.
Paul also recommends character qualities that won’t cause shame or embarrassment to the church: “not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.” The leader should be blameless; they should have a good testimony in the community.
On the positive side, he suggests looking for qualities like these: “must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.” The spiritual leader should be someone who demonstrates a spirit-filled life through the fruit of the spirit.
Another important quality is their knowledge of God’s word and their ability to teach it and defend it against false teaching. This is a safeguard to the church that keeps it from error and from getting sidetracked from the truth.
What is your reaction to reading the list? Do you say, “I could never be a leader” or “I don’t want to be a leader”? I hope not. I’m not sure that Paul intended for this to be a checklist for disqualification—and it is sometimes viewed that way. I’m sure each of us could find a point or two (or more) that would disqualify us if we looked at the list so rigidly. A grace-filled way to look at the list is to realize that these are qualities God wants to build into your life so that you can be used in greater measure for him. They are a measure of the life we should pursue.