Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Titus 1:8-9 (NIV).
A bit more on elders and the kind of people they should be. Last time, we talked about how we should all lead in Jesus’ name; how we should model Him in how we lead others, whether it’s at work or in the church. Here, Paul (again) lists traits and behaviors that elders/leaders should have, specifically for fit service to the church.
But it’s more than that. You know it is.
I’m struggling with Agile. I’m a project manager (or at least I used to be) and I have been trained over the years in the traditional business methods for managing project (specifically IT projects). To get something done, you plan it, you organize it, you staff it, you execute it, then you deliver it. Included in that are dozens of sub-concepts such as project plans, budgets, sponsor management, test development, test execution, planning for shut-down, and post-delivery evaluation just to name a few
Agile upends all that. Agile is a way of managing and thinking that streamlines delivery of things, specifically software. It cuts out much of the traditional process and focuses on what is most important at the moment to rapidly deliver what matters most It uses new tools and quick solutions. And I’m struggling with that concept, that focus on rapid, sometimes incomplete, delivery over the more cautious approach of tradition.
In a way, Paul is advocating traditional “waterfall” staffing of the church, recommending that those who serve her must exhibit the traits of maturity and godliness so that God’s message can be shepherded in a needy world. Impulsive, cut-to-the-chase approaches go only so far when sound doctrine is in the mix because sound doctrine always loves, always perseveres, always bows down at the feet of Jesus before anything else.
And yet the early practice of Christianity was agile. It DID cut to the chase, namely that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that nobody would come to God except through Him. The traditional ways of worship that went back even to Noah wouldn’t justify a man to the Father. Only Jesus can do that. The message of redemption is for both the mature and the immature, the Jew and the gentile, the new and the old. Paul’s decades-long journey in righteous Judaism was up-ended in a flash on that road to Damascus. And that’s a great thing.
Do you struggle with that? Whole churches struggle with the idea of traditional approach over ‘modern’ agility. Where does God have you in how you react to that?
For further reading: Romans 12:13, 1 Corinthians 16:13, 1 Timothy 1:19, 2 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:10
Lord Jesus, help me to see Your mission how we do it.