THE VACUUM produced when a strong leader departs can devastate a movement, organization, or institution. Having been dependent on his or her skill, style, and personality, associates and subordinates flounder or vie for control. Soon efficiency and vitality are lost, and decline and demise follow. Often this pattern is repeated in churches. Great speakers and teachers gather a following, and soon a church is flourishing. It is alive, vital, and effective. Lives are being changed and people led into the Kingdom. But when this person leaves or dies, with him or her goes the drive and the heart of the organization. People flocked to hear Paul’s teaching. Educated, articulate, motivated, and filled with the Holy Spirit, this man of God faithfully proclaimed the Good News throughout the Roman Empire; lives were changed and churches begun. But Paul knew that the church must be built on Christ, not on a person. And he knew that eventually he would not be there to build, encourage, discipline, and teach. So he trained young pastors to assume leadership in the churches after he was gone. Paul urged them to center their lives and preaching on the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and to train others to carry on the ministry (2 Timothy 2:2). Titus was a Greek believer. Taught and nurtured by Paul, he stood before the leaders of the church in Jerusalem as a living example of what Christ was doing among the Gentiles (Galatians 2:1-3). Like Timothy, he was one of Paul’s trusted traveling companions and closest friends. Later he became Paul’s special ambassador (2 Corinthians 7:5-16) and eventually the overseer of the churches on Crete (Titus 1:5). Slowly and carefully, Paul developed Titus into a mature Christian and a responsible leader. The letter to Titus was a step in this discipleship process. As with Timothy, Paul told Titus how to organize and lead the churches. Paul begins with a longer than usual greeting and introduction, outlining the leadership progression: Paul’s ministry (1:1-3), Titus’s responsibilities (1:4-5), and those leaders whom Titus would appoint and train (1:5). Paul then lists pastoral qualifications (1:6-9) and contrasts faithful elders with the false leaders and teachers (1:10-16). Next, Paul emphasizes the importance of good deeds in the life of the Christian, telling Titus how to relate to the various age groups in the church (2:2-6). He urges Titus to be a good example of a mature believer (2:7-8) and to teach with courage and conviction (2:9-15). He then discusses the general responsibilities of Christians in society: Titus should remind the people of these (3:1-8), and he should avoid divisive arguments (3:9-11). Paul concludes with a few matters of itinerary and personal greetings (3:12-15). Paul’s letter to Titus is brief, but it is an important link in the discipleship process, helping a young man grow into leadership in the church. As you read this pastoral letter, you will gain insight into the organization and life of the early church, and you will find principles for structuring contemporary churches. But you should also see how to be a responsible Christian leader. Read the letter to Titus and determine, like Paul, to train men and women to lead and teach others.

To advise Titus in his responsibility of supervising on the Island of Crete

Date Written
Approximately A.D 64 around the same time Timothy was written probably from Macedonia

Key Verse

I left you on the island of Crete so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you Titus1:15

Titus Bible Study Download