Rather, [an Elder] must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life.
Titus 1:8 (NLT)
I’ve recently been reading Good to Great by Jim Collins. In the book, Collins and his research team studied the qualities of leadership among a small handful of executives who had led their companies from a status of mediocrity to rising above the competition and realizing long term success. Among the list of qualities these leaders displayed was the ability to put the right people in the right positions to maximize their strengths. Any business leaders knows that getting the right people in the right jobs is a critical component to prosperity.
In the decades following Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, His followers spread out around the known world to share their story so that others might believe. Paul (a.k.a. Saul), who began as vehement enemy of Jesus’ followers, had an encounter with the resurrected Jesus and quickly became a passionate believer and follower. Paul journeyed all through Greece telling people about Jesus and organizing believers into local churches.
Titus is a letter from Paul to the man for whom it is named. After Paul had shared the message about Jesus with people on the island of Crete, many of them believed. Paul left Titus behind and charged him with the task of organizing these groups of believers on the island of Crete. One of the most critical tasks in this rapidly growing organization of followers was finding capable leaders. In today’s chapter Paul provides Titus with a description of the type of leader to look for in an effort to find the right man for the job.
As I read through the description this morning I thought of a good friend of mine who was recently asked to consider the possibility of being named “Elder” in his local congregation. After two centuries, the practice of finding and appointing capable leaders among believers is still an on-going practice. My friend was honored by the request, and I thought of him as I read Paul’s description. As I reached the above verse I thought of the countless times I have been a guest in his home for meals, for refreshment, and for meaningful conversation. I thought of the goodness and life that he earnestly seeks after. I remembered words of wisdom he has shared with me over the years and the example he has been to me of a devout and disciplined life in his pursuit of being like Jesus. I was happy for him, and blessed to know a person who is a perfect fit for the job Paul described two thousand years ago.