As someone has said, "As the leaders go, so goes the church." Simply put in every Christ centered and thriving church, you will find godly leaders. You will find true shepherds who watch over their flock not eager for gain, but willing to lay down their lives for them. You will find servant leaders, who don't look out for their own interests but to the interests of others. And of course, this is all modeled after The Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep whom he had called.
So today when Paul writes to Titus, his brother in the faith, he has in mind this crucial issue of godly leaders. The New Testament has a couple words for these leaders. One is elder, who exercises spiritual oversight of the congregation. He is also called an overseer for the same reason. Finally, this person is also sometimes called a bishop or presbyter. Bottom line is that these were the men who led the churches. They preached and taught and oversaw the spiritual formation of the members of the church.
You can see the laundry list of qualifications in the passage below. One might be tempted to say, "if these are the qualifications, who could possibly live up to them?" But if you look at the list there is nothing particularly daunting in each of the qualifications. It seems like the basics for any Christian. Important is character, but also the content of their teaching which must hold firmly to the Gospel they have been entrusted. So not only is their life important but their doctrine too. As Paul said, "watch your life and doctrine too!"
Bottom line is there are high expectations for leaders as they represents the bride of Christ, the Church. A leader must not take lightly their call and how their life speaks as loudly as their words. Pray for your leaders that Christ might help them to fulfilling their calling in Christ!
Appointing Elders Who Love What Is Good
5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you. 6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[b] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.