1 & 2 Timothy and Titus: Day 17

Titus’s Ministry

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Today's Text: Titus 1:1-16, Ephesians 4:11-13, Hebrews 6:13-20

Scripture Reading: Titus 1:1-16, Ephesians 4:11-13, Hebrews 6:13-20

Have you ever worked under poor leadership? Sadly, most of us have had a run-in with a bad boss or two. If you have ever worked for someone you couldn’t trust, respect, or follow, you know how frustrating and even hurtful those experiences can be.

Thankfully, I have had the experience of working under good leadership more often than not. When you operate under people you trust, respect, and want to follow, it positively impacts your entire life—not just at work, but at home too. It’s easy to spot models of healthy and unhealthy leadership in the workplace, and of course the same can be said for our churches.    

The Apostle Paul took Christian leadership seriously because he understood the impact of an authoritative voice. In his letter to Titus, Paul begins with a declaration of his identity, calling himself “a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ” (Titus 1:1). He also lays out his mission statement: to build up the church in the truth so their lives would change and they would receive God’s promised eternal life (vv. 1-3). With Paul as a model of faithful leadership in the early Church, we see that a godly leader finds their identity and purpose in the Lord.

While Paul starts the letter with the state of his own heart, he continues by addressing the requirements for elders, saying in short: it matters how you live your life. He warns against corrupt leaders who are “full of empty talk and deception” because he knows the damage those people wreak (v. 10). Instead, Paul calls for an elder to be “not arrogant, not hot-tempered, not an excessive drinker, not a bully, not greedy for money, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled, holding to the faithful message as taught” (vv. 7-8). To use a well-worn but apt cliche, a godly leader is not just someone who can “talk the talk,” but a person who “walks the walk.” Better still, a godly leader is one who walks toward Jesus.

Whose lead are we following today? And where are we leading those who follow us? This is not a call to ignore our bosses or disregard those in leadership over us, but rather to be conscious of who is shaping us on a soul level. Are we following those whose identity and purpose are found in the Lord, who live godly lives?

Paul’s letter to Titus gives a good template for what godly leadership looks like, but ultimately, our only perfect leader is Jesus—Jesus, who came in the fullness of God, yet took on the form of a baby and served the broken people of this world to the point of death on a cross. Jesus is the only leader who understands our every feeling and can wipe away our every sin. He is a better guide than any worldly influencer and the only one worthy of surrendering your life to. If you’re looking for a leader who will never fail you, look no further than the feet of Jesus.

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Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Kaitie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.

  • Emily McGhee

    Love this message. We are all leaders ourselves on some level. My prayer is to lead the ones I have following me with my leader being the Holy Spirit ❤️ Yahweh

  • I personally work for a leader who is brilliant with some dark pathology… I love the work I do and those I serve, but it is very demanding and the dynamics within the department can be what depletes me. But it refines me as I continue to pray for God to use it to change me, because I cannot change others. And He is faithful

  • Monica Davis

    Looking at the feet of Jesus, and follow me as I follow Christ!

  • Erin Mitchell

    I am in a tough situation with my leadership. It’s gotten to the point where I want to quit. Please pray for me as I keep praying for patients and guidance through all of this

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Erin, thank you for sharing and we’re praying for you during this time. Grateful that you’re here! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Love this so much! Thank you!

  • I’ve been experiencing an upheaval of leaders in my life. Pray for me, that I might find new Godly mentors and leaders.

  • Daphnna Eldred

    Amen & Amen!

  • Alexandria Weaver

    I am personally moving into a new company with the understanding that I will be promoted to a leadership role in the few months down the road. The last couple years I’ve had different leaders who where very unprofessional it times in others who just lacked character to rally the troops. But whatever it is they are people of authority that God has put in place in that I should do what is in my power to respect their authority and to rest in that knowledge. I also have stepped back and started to learn from what I saw, I know that God will use all this past experience to equip me for future. I should also take time to route in this example that Paul has written out for what good leadership looks like and also what leadership looks like as Christ too!

  • Churchmouse

    No “Lone Ranger” Christian here (I know I’m revealing my age with that TV reference lol). I could not do this Christian walk without faithful sisters beside me. Years ago I prayed for one good mentor and Jesus responded by telling me to “look and ask.” I noticed Dorothy who seemed so at peace and prayed in the most sincere way. I noticed Alice who had a wealth of Bible knowledge. I noticed Kay who had boundless energy and enthusiastically embraced serving in the church. I noticed Vicki who welcomed everyone in to Bible study with her knack for friendship and hospitality. I looked and saw these four women. I approached them and asked if they would mentor me. I didn’t use those exact words but that was what I was looking for. How blessed I’ve been for having these women in my life. I encourage you to look around and see who impresses you as being a faithful woman of God and then ask them if they would help you on your journey. The dividends are heavenly!!!

    • valerie

      Yes!
      We cannot run this race alone!
      Wishing I lived near you because I would definitely ask you to mentor me – I see all the qualities of your four friends in you.
      I always look for your comments and they never disappoint!
      Thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with all of us here.
      I consider you one of my “virtual mentors” :)

    • Lisa

      I share the same sentiment…Courthouse and Tina…very safe women!

  • I’m struggling with a leader at work. Thank you for this.

    • Madison

      I also am struggling with leadership at work and I find that at work is where I struggle the most to walk the walk. We are called to be faithful in ALL SITUATIONS and I found today’s reading to be a great reminder of that. I will be praying for all of us in situations with weak leaders that we will find peace in God and always looking to Him for clarity in difficult situations.

  • Cassie King

    I so needed this today. Yesterday I was contemplating leaving my job due to management who will not stand up for their employees. I immediately was angry that a customer would claim that my character and morals were horrible from a 5 second interaction and that my manager wouldn’t stand up for me. Then I remembered I am not trying to please man because their ideals may block their view of the world. While I strive to be customer service minded in my job I truly need to be Jesus minded in all situations.

  • As a pastors wife I am ever aware that many eyes are upon me. I believe this is a healthy thing. Believers who are younger in the faith are looking for examples, those who are further down the road on their journey with Christ to lead and guide them. I do live in a tension knowing that I represent Christ and and do not want to lead his people astray but also knowing that I am not perfect, nor do I ever want to pretend to be. I love the book of Titus. Paul’s encouragement and guidance is so very helpful. I am so thankful for the encouraging word here at SRT too. We cannot do this alone!

  • Sarah Marshall

    Wow, how absolutely relevant to what is going on in the world today. This also serves as a reminder to pray for our leaders, both local and national. Jesus still serves as the ultimate example of both leadership and fellowship.

  • I am struggling over the questions Katie asks in her commentary: Who is shaping me on a soul level? Whose lead am I following? While the pastors and their wives at my church are amazing examples, it is not like I personally know them well. I know them on a work level, as I also work at my church. I crave everyday ordinary women in my life who are good examples to follow and will shape my soul in the image of Jesus. It seems like today there are very few who take the challenge to obey God and Scripture literally? Does anyone else have this issue?
    As a result God seems to be asking me to do HARD THINGS and become someone others can follow. So let me tell you, I am learning why there are so few good examples around! Satan has a field day with those determined to be sold out!!

    • Lonna

      Kaitie closed her commentary with the answer; Jesus is the perfect leader. Follow His lead as He has laid out in His word and allow Him to be your soul shaper. He is the one who does the serious changing from the inside out and will Himself oversee and complete the work that He has begun in you. As you attune yourself more to the inward changes, you will become more aware of the outward Godly influences the Lord sends to add to the work He is doing. You’ll find it easier to discern who to listen to and who probably isn’t speaking or living from a healthy perspective. I find in my own life that if I look to outside human sources to shape me, lead me, teach me before I look first to Christ for my shaping, leading and teaching, I come away disappointed every time. He is the shape of our souls, our leader and asks us just to trust in Him and He will work out the details. In this process, you’ll find that you have become someone others can follow because like Paul, they’ll be following you as you follow Christ!! And remember, Debi, God won’t ask you to do anything that He won’t be with you in and be your strength in. You’re never alone!

  • Kelly Chataine

    We are all leaders in one capacity or another. It is essential that we take a good look at these passages and then see how we measure up. I am a high school teacher, wife, mother, mother-in-law, daughter, friend, and neighbor. Each of my callings brings a form of leadership with it. God is speaking to me and telling me not to be arrogant, hot-tempered, an excessive drinker, a bully, greedy for money, but I need to be hospitable, loving what is right, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled, holding to the faithful message as taught. God is amazing! I will reflect on these scriptures as I attempt to go back to school for my first full day in a long time. Isn’t God amazing!

  • Kayla Zertuche

    With so many false teachers up and coming in the World today, this message couldn’t be more important! There’s so much greediness in the churches, and we’re no longer preaching a repenting of sins. It’s sad. But I’m so grateful to God that we have the Word so easily-accessible, especially for women! We now have the Bible in the palm of our hands, and the internet is an open resource for us to delve into deeper wisdom of the gospel. Don’t understand a scripture? Look it up! Don’t remember what one scripture said? Type in a few words and google will do the rest. We’re so incredibly privileged to have the Word at our dispense, and because of this, we as women are able to distinguish between false and true teachings. We’re now able to see and know which leaders we should be following, what kind of attributes we should find in a husband, and how we should all as men and women hold ourselves as Children of God. As scary as it is that we’re in the end times, God made sure His children would have access to His Truth. More than enough access. It’s up to us to actually utilize these resources and grow ourselves closer in our relationships with Him. Thank You, Lord, that You’ve takes such good care of us! Thank You that You made sure Your precious daughters and sons can know Your Truth, that we may not be led by false teachings or left in the lurch. You are so incredibly good.

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