7 “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us,” (Titus 2:7-8 ESV).
The church is to be engaged in multi-generational life. While there may be particular emphasis placed on certain age group ministries in any given week, the church must not exclude any age group from any other. All generations in the church must be involved with each other. Examples include men and women’s ministries, AWANA, youth groups, Sunday school and Adult Bible Fellowships.
The Apostle Paul focused on healthy church behavior involving typical people groups in the church. He gave special attention to age and gender. We studied the importance of older men, older women, younger women and younger men. Today, we examine the importance of godly pastors.
The Apostle Paul directed his attention to Titus in today’s text. Titus had responsibilities in the church. The phrase show yourself (παρεχόμενος; parechomenos/ σεαυτὸν; seauton) means to presently and personally offer and display something. This behavior was to be in all respects (πᾶς; pas) or in all things. Titus was to be a model (τύπον; typon) or an example before the church.
“Titus had a special obligation to exemplify the moral and spiritual qualities about which he was to admonish others (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1; Phil. 3:17; 2 Thess. 3:8–9; 1 Tim. 4:12; Heb. 13:7),” explains Dr. John MacArthur. .
All congregations have spoken, and unspoken expectations, of their pastors. Most of these expectancies are biblical. Some of them are not. Often, the pastor discovers that he has unknowingly failed to meet certain expectations that went beyond his explicit job description. The failure to meet these ‘tacit norms” may result in his suspension and even termination.
What biblical aspirations should a pastor, and congregation, expect to be fulfilled? Paul provided a list.
Second, in his teaching he is to show integrity. The pastor’s doctrine (διδασκαλία; didaskalia) is to avoid corruption (ἀφθορία; aphthoria). It is be sound, incorruptible and untainted by anything false (ἀφθαρσία; aphtharsia). It is to be sincere.
Third, he is to possess dignity (σεμνότητα; semnotēta). He is to display dignified behavior. This refers to gracious and respectable actions.
Fourth, a pastor must have sound speech (λόγος; logos/ ὑγιής; hygiēs). He has nothing evil to say in his daily conversations (Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:16–17; 4:6). This is so that he will not be condemned (ἀκατάγνωστος; akatagnōstos) or rebuked for anything he says.
Sound speech will also put a pastor’s opponents to shame (ἐντρέπω; entrepō). They will be embarrassed in any accusations they make against a pastor because they are proven groundless.
Even if a pastor embodies these qualities, people will still lie about him and accuse him of sin and wrongdoing. Tragic but true. In those circumstances, the pastor must remain resolute to do what is right and in keeping with God’s call to ministry and godliness. He must trust that Lord to handle the situation (Rom. 12:14-21).
Pray that you will be an encouragement to your pastor. Pray that your pastor will take seriously these biblical expectations for life and ministry. Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!