Faithlife Sermons

(Titus 005) The Church Needs Shepherds. People Need Shepherds. (Part 1)

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Titus 1:5–9 ESV
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

1. The church needs shepherds to fulfill God’s design for the church. (vs. 5)

Titus 1:5 ESV
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—

(1) A. Shepherds are needed to fill up what is lacking.

The mission of Titus was to “put what remained into order” or fill up what is lacking.
Part of that was to appoint elders or pastors, shepherds in every town.
There were many “church seeds” that were planted.
Today we would call them Bible studies.
This is usually where a church plant starts.
Church is “Ekklesia” : An assembly or called out ones.
There were assemblies of people in these towns.
These were house churches.
Romans 16:5 ESV
5 Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia.

(1) A. Shepherds are needed to fill up what is lacking.

They often met in a wealthy Christian’s home so they had enough room.
They were lacking leadership.
There are two biblical offices in a local church Elders (Pastors)/Deacons.
A lot of emphasis is put on the office of elder in churches today.
We are one of the few who do not have elders.
I cannot find anywhere in scripture that shows those offices are different.
Many elders function in some ways as an unpaid pastor. Only working part-time.
Don’t mistake the elders mentioned here for what we sometimes think of as elders - these are pastors. We will call them elders/pastors/shepherd during our study of Titus.
There were more thing lacking than just leadership.
Titus was told to address those items as well.
However a lot of it was because of a lack of leadership.
Paul recognized God’s design for the local church was to be led by a Shepherd.
So appointing shepherds seems to be the first order of business for Titus.

Three things this helps us understand about elders/pastors/shepherds.

1. We need shepherds.

This was the first thing Titus was told to do to fill up what is lacking.
Shepherds help fill up what is lacking in us.
We need to be shepherded.
Do you believe you need to be shepherded?
We have a tendency to feel self sufficient.
We might say we need a shepherd, but we don’t always live like we do.
God’s design for the church was to give us pastors or shepherds to guide us.
Hebrews 13:17–18 ESV
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. 18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.

1. We need shepherds.

That leads to the second thing we better understand because of this passage...

2. We need to be faithfully participating in a local church so we can be shepherded.

How can you be shepherded if you are putting yourself under the shepherding of a shepherd?
This is part of submitting and letting them do it with joy and not groaning.
Don’t be a difficult sheep.
This is no advantage to you!

3. Biblical shepherding doesn’t necessarily look like we think it does.

In order to understand what I’m saying, we need to pay attention to the reason we have pastors.
Think about the reason it was so important for these young churches to be appointed elders.
It was not for their physical needs.
It was for their spiritual needs.
Our church tradition often expects our pastors to care for our physical needs.
We should… because we are part of the church, not because we are your pastors.
Remember Acts 6… the office of deacon to help take care of physical needs to the pastors could focus on the spiritual needs of the flock.
When we see the office of pastor described, it is to spiritually shepherd the people.
The church as a whole is called to bear one another’s burdens.
As Paul tells Titus to appoint elders, the reasons are all spiritual.
We need to be careful what we are expecting our of our pastors.
They are watching out for souls (the spiritual lives) an entire flock of sheep.
Many of the things we want our pastors to be doing are the things the people of the church are supposed to be doing as the body of Christ!

(1) B. Shepherds are needed but they are not mysterious and are not different.

Pastors can be seen as...
Not like everyone else
God’s special man
Even set apart and above everyone else
That could be because of the way we view the role.
Rather than simply seeing it as a role in the body.
We see it as a special office that a man is called to.
I would like for us to take some time this morning and think about some things I’ve been pondering and learning for a while now.
It will help us better understand the role of elder, pastor, shepherd.
It will help us better understand the task Titus was given.
I want to do this by dispelling a myth we have been taught.
The myth that pastors are “called into ministry”.
This is idea is what sets pastors apart and shouldn’t.

i. A biblical calling is a call to something other than pastoral ministry. (We are all called.)

Romans 11:29 ESV
29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
1 Corinthians 1:9 ESV
9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ephesians 4:1 ESV
1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
1 Thessalonians 4:7 ESV
7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.
2 Timothy 1:9 ESV
9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
2 Peter 1:10 ESV
10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.

i. A biblical calling is a call to something other than pastoral ministry. (We are all called.)

ii. The Bible paints a picture different than we are used to.

Ephesians 4:4–7 ESV
4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
The context is spiritual gifts...
Ephesians 4:11 ESV
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,

ii. The Bible paints a picture different than we are used to.

Here, it seen as a spiritual gift given by Christ.
It is given to you as a gift - 1 Cor reminds tells us as well that gifts are given for the common good of the church.
If it is a gift, it is not mysterious, but to be lived out like your gift.
Verse 4 - one body and one Spirit.
(1 Corinthians) Says we are all of the same spirit.
(Romans 12) We function as a body.
The function might be different, but the a gift is a gift to be used in the body like any other.
If shepherd/teacher is a gift… this changes the way we apply it.
If I don’t have the gift of evangelism, does that mean I don’t have to evangelize?
If I don’t have the gift of giving, does that mean I don’t have to give?
If I don’t have a certain gift, I am expected to nurture it and grow in it.
It is still a function I am expected to perform, while those gifted in that area do two things...
They excel in it for the good of the church.
They provide an example for those who are lacking in that area.
So… if you do not have the gift of shepherd/teacher, does that mean you don’t have to be a shepherd/teacher?
We have learned that disciple-making is shepherding and teaching people.
1 Timothy 3:1 ESV
1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.

ii. The Bible paints a picture different than we are used to.

Aspires: stretching oneself out towards.
Here it is seen as an official office that is desired not called.
Acts 14:21–23 ESV
21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Titus 1:5 ESV
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—
2 Timothy 2:2 ESV
2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.

ii. The Bible paints a picture different than we are used to.

Where do we get the idea of “calling”?
Jeremiah 1:5 ESV
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Old T. prophets were called by God.
Galatians 1:15 ESV
15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,
Paul was called by God.
God spoke audibly to Paul.
Paul and Barnabas in Acts.

Four words to remember when thinking about shepherd/pastors/elders.

If it is a gift it can be lived out in the local church at different levels of use. It can also be developed over time.
This may not come first and may not be an all consuming desire.
This could also be called faithfulness. Are they faithfully taking opportunities to use the gift where they are?
Do others see the gift in them and recognize their faithful use of it?

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