The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. Titus 1:5 (NIV).
The church is an orderly group, so that the work of our God may be advanced. Like it or not, we need order, we need structure through which to manage our lives. Very few people could simply say “I’m going to build a house today” and do it successfully without order, a plan, and help. Very few projects could be executed without planning to order the work, ensure it’s done correctly, and implement a solution that doesn’t interfere with other things already in place. Hardly anyone would wake up in the morning and decide “I’m going to get married today and have a 500 person reception” and then have it happen without a great deal of help (and money).
Jethro advised Moses to organize judges and leaders for minor tasks so that the major work of Israel could be accomplished. After shepherding the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses was beaten down with hearing all the disagreements and legal disputes that happen in a nation of a million former slaves. His father-in-law, Jethro, paid him a visit there in the desert of Sinai and advised Moses to appoint a structure of leaders who could handle lesser disputes. That way, only the most sensitive or pressing disputes would land in Moses’ lap for him to take to the Lord.
Delegation is a wonderful thing.
Paul recognized this. He trained Titus to be a leader in ‘the Way,’ and then appointed Titus as a bishop in Crete. This happened less than a generation after the resurrection of Jesus, meaning that the church has had formal structure since very early on. Indeed, even the twelve Apostles were a group of improbable leaders right from the start. But the important lesson is that the church works well when there is organization. That doesn’t mean every minute decision must be made collaboratively or by committee. But it works well when a senior leadership team delegates tasks to lesser groups or committees or leaders who can act. Titus was one such person. He was competent. Paul recognized it, so Paul commissioned Titus to lead and go forth. And that’s what happened.
Mind you, any group (but especially the church) must be mindful to delegate only to people equipped to act or lead. Most people hate working for control freaks. Whether it’s a small church task or building a new line of cars, people don’t like working for other people who get high on power. A good leader knows their limitations and will seek advice and help when they need it.
How will you lead today? How can you lead – and serve – where you are today?
For further reading: Exodus 18:1-26, Acts 27:7, 1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:6
Lord Jesus, empower me to serve and lead where You have me today. Thanks for Your help.