How does Paul tell Titus to revitalize a church?

Well, Paul doesn’t tell Titus how to revitalize a church.  Instead, Paul instructs Titus about how to establish healthy, biblical churches in Crete (Titus 1:5) that reflect God’s design for the local church.  Having said that, regardless whether you are planting a church, or pastoring a dysfunctional established one, Paul instructs Titus with very clear, specific methods that God uses to build strong, healthy churches.

In the midst of so much trendy pragmatism that drives so many books and seminars on church revitalization today, I submit these biblical options for your consideration:

1)     Affirm qualified biblical leadership (Titus 1:5-9)

2)     Exhort sound doctrine (Titus 1:9)

3)     Refute falsehood (Titus 1:9-16)

4)     Celebrate a multi-generational church (Titus 2:1-8)

5)     Embrace an ethnic and socially diverse church (Titus 2:9-10)

Go read the book of Titus and see these points for yourself.  This is the formula for God to build his church, regardless what stage of health and growth it is in.  God’s design for the local church is a diverse, multigenerational, multi-ethnic local church.  Paul is writing to Titus with this in mind.  Whether church planting, or church revitalization, I believe these are the things we as pastors should be pursuing.  Trust the power of biblically, qualified leadership to preach God’s word and welcome gospel-transformed old and young, black and white, rich and homeless into the local church.  The greater the diversity, the more the gospel is displayed in so many different kinds of people of different ages being united around the transformation of the gospel.

 

 

Posted in Oversight of Souls
2 comments on “How does Paul tell Titus to revitalize a church?
  1. Tim says:

    It is great to see points 4 and 5 listed because the typical church is very generationally segmented (send the children to another room and the teenagers will rarely if ever be asked to speak the scriptures), and is highly racially segregated. Some say the Christian worship hour is the most segregated hour of the week. Why? Because believers are racially generationally intolerant? No, one of your sentences gives it away. “Trust the power of biblically, qualified leadership to preach God’s word and welcome gospel-transformed old and young, black and white, rich and homeless into the local church.” “Welcome them into the church” does not include welcome them to come prepared to participate from their own heart to the rest of the saints. As it functionally happens, “preaching” is dominated by one hired man. The “pulpit ministry is the most guarded and protected ministry. So much so that it is highly unlikely that:
    1. A locally raised up spiritual leader who earns his own living will never preach if the preacher is in town and most likely not if the preach is out of town.
    2. A man from another race who attends regularly and is spiritually active will never be invited to preach because he does not have the proper seminary or any kind of advanced Bible degrees.
    3. The pulpit belongs to one hired man. He controls it.

    The pulpit is the most monolithic, monocultural, monogenerational location in the church. Everyone is happy with this and thinks God designed it this way and it says this somewhere in the scriptures. So for other races to have the opportunity for expression of God’s word during the worship hour that expresses their culture, they have to start their own church. That is what happens. Even fellow Asians must have their own Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, etc churches.

    “The greater the diversity, the more the gospel is displayed in so many different kinds of people of different ages being united around the transformation of the gospel.” This is a great statement but it won’t ever be displayed except in mediocre fashion as long as we assume the Bible says:
    1. Preaching is one man lecturing the Bible for the whole teaching time. It is never 2 – 5 men partnering together in teaching the Word.
    2. Preaching is always a lecture. There must be no participation of any kind from the saints, not even any questions for clarification. That would ruin the preachers train of thought and disrupt the Spirit’s work – and many other assumptions.

    Of course the Bible says no such thing about preaching. But there is more unity among all the different brand names of churches on this one tradition than on any other element. What do you think is driving this barrier to multicultural and multigenerational heart participation?

    Question: To what extent do the saints in your church expect to participate in personal expression of truth during the worship hour? (Merely praying behind the preacher and only singing what you are told to sing does not qualify as “personal expression of truth”. No believer who happens to be a preacher would be content with this limitation to “personal expression of truth”. Any believer should not be content with this limitation unless they do not grasp that they are to “speak the truth in love…” so the saints can “grow up into all things…”.

    Jesus is most worshiped and manifested when all the members of his body participate with their giftings to each other and in obedience to all the “one another” instructions when they gather.

  2. I am just starting to preach through the Book of Titus, and look forward to studying each of these themes deeper. Thanks for connecting this pastoral epistle to the exciting work of church revitalization!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Donate

Help send free Practical Shepherding resources to pastors around the world.

Categories
Facebook
Subscribe

Email:

RSS Feeds:

Advertisements