Thursday, August 18, 2011

A portion of my Replanting book - a case study from Titus

I. Leadership:

No change is possible without strong, focused, intentioned, humble, Jesus loving leadership. A precise of this call to lead, reveals Paul’s clear insight as to what is needed to Replant this community. It is not for the faint hearted. It will certainly not be achieved by being politically correct, not by trying to be the ‘nice guy’. It requires a loving, tender but robust form of leadership, whose focus is on the applause of heaven in laboring with an eternal mandate and not a temporal popularity contest that may offer a short term success but offer no long term, multi-generational transition.

Firstly Paul calls Titus to appoint elders. This is the highest level of biblical authority in a local church. There are no other levels or layers of authority over them – not denominational, organizational nor dictatorial by one person. In the plurality, they are men who are to lead the church clearly in government and direction, finding the heart of God together.

Secondly, Paul clearly lays out who qualifies for such a task. When one compares this list with that in 1 Timothy 3, they are remarkably similar. However, could it be that this is not some random checklist Titus is to use to matrix the next leadership team? May I suggest another reason? In Genesis 1, there is a clear divine intention that God sculpted in his created order. The text repeatedly says: “ Each will produce after their own kind” [vs 12, 21, 24, 25,]. I do wonder if this is less about a checklist for qualification and more about the kind of believer that this Replant will produce, so it does require this kind of leader to be in place. These ‘qualifications’ so called, are surely a bottom line reality for all believers. This will be achieved if the leaders exhude these qualities and disciple others into this lifestyle.

Thirdly, Paul empowers Titus to act boldly. With Holy Spirit wisdom, Titus is called to be courageous to turn a tough ship around. Using the Old Testament matrix of “Prophet, Priest and King”, the Replanter must surely have a high ‘king’ quotient [meaning government and leadership] in his make up. These are some of the commissioning verbs that Paul uses: “they must be silenced…show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works…in your teaching show integrity, dignity and sound speech…declare these things…rebuke with all authority…I want you to insist on these things…avoid foolish controversies…warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him…


  1. Hi Chris
    A few comments?
    1. It is intriguing that Titus was not asked to re-plant (and I know where you're going!), but to set things in order that were left undone. It's almost as if Paul was acutely aware that the plant was not completed properly. I wonder how many re-plants are really just things that have been "insufficiently" planted, perhaps because they were not done apostolically, or because the initial "apostolic" input and foundation-laying was circumstantially curtailed, or lacking/insufficient/warped (i.e. bad model)? Perhaps, in many modern contexts, the wrong "kind of planter" has left things undone?

    2. I know that the prophet-priest-king is a cute matrix, but perhaps it is a bit too trite? Is there not the danger of fleshy compartmentalizing will result in further need for "setting things in order"? I would need to look further, but it doesn't seem to be a matrix that Paul ever uses, other than to describe anointing/gifting. How would his planter/waterer matrix fit? Would Titus be the planter, or the waterer - building on what Paul had laid. (I'm sure I don't have the full answer :-) but these are just some of my off-the-cuff musings!)

    Always enjoy your thoughts - may your river ever run deep!


  2. Hi Chris,
    thank you for taking the time and making the effort to share your experience, wisdom and knowledge on this subject with a broader audience.
    I am sure that it will push and expand the boundaries of your current field!
    Cheers, Mark