Church Leaders: Be a Model of Good Works

paul-preaching-on-mars-hillPeople are interested in what we say. But people are more interested in how we live. In Titus 2, Paul exhorts Christians how to live. Our behavior should make people say good things, not bad things, about our faith. About godly living, Paul addressed defined age groups in church—older men, older women, young women, and young men. In the next section, he addressed church leaders and teachers.

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity” (Tit. 2:7) Titus was Paul’s representative to the churches. As a leader of churches, he is to show himself to be a model, an example. He is to be a model of good works and good behavior. Bad behavior should not characterize church leaders and teachers.

We live in a day when prominent leaders are bad models of morality, godliness, and good works. We read about foul-mouthed Presidents, immoral Pastors, and corrupt politicians.

Titus is to model good works “in all respects” (v. 7), meaning, “in every way.” Paul wrote to Pastor Timothy, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12). Paul himself set a good model to Timothy and Titus. “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us” (Phil. 3:17). In turn, Titus and Timothy should set a good model to believers.

I’m glad that our old pastor, Jose Latorilla, of Fellowship Baptist Church of Bacolod, set a good model of good works. In his sixties, he was a model of faith, patience, and endurance. As a model of faith, he trusted God even with a low pay. He was a faithful teacher and preacher of God’s Word. He gave me an old copy of Alban Douglas’ “One Hundred Bible Lessons.” It has shaped my theological beliefs greatly. As a model of patience, he smiled and handled every complaint by church people. He was like a father to us that we called him “Dad,” instead of “Pastor.” As a model of endurance, he served the church for over 50 years! He baptized me in 1979, when he was in his sixties!

We just cannot get anyone to be a church leader and teacher. We should only get teachers who are models of faith, doctrine, and godly character. We should follow specific qualifications for church leaders in 1 Timothy and Titus.

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