What do you want to be when you grow up? That oft-asked question of our children and youth is one that inspires dreams and shapes lives. Pro sports athletes, doctors, teachers, business owners and engineers. Not many would answer anything remotely related to an elder. Well, ok, we’re not talking about a profession here in this context of Titus 1. But doesn’t it at least deserve some commendation and affirmation as a good and worthy pursuit? After all, Paul tells Timothy “If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble task.”
And yet, so often this office is not held in high esteem. Possibly, it is because there are so many public figures in religious positions of authority who fall into sin and cast shame upon the office. Indeed, scandal after scandal has shown up in the news for years upon years. Possibly, it is because many men fear taking on the office because of the pressure and visibility that will be cast upon them. Indeed, this can be quite humbling. Possibly, it is due to the time commitment that is involved. Indeed, sacrifices need to be made.
All those and other concerns withstanding, let us not lose sight of the benefit of this wonderful God-ordained office. The Lord has chosen to use broken men in this office of elder in a wonderful way to pray others, correct others, teach others and love others into His kingdom and towards the gospel. Therefore, if the Lord has laid upon your heart an aspiration towards this office, you have a good inclination, as Paul says. If someone has seen your ministry, faith and character that match with 1st Timothy 3 and Titus 1, be sure to count the cost. But be sure to count the benefits as well. The joy of seeing the people of God moved closer to Christ because of your ministry is a wonderful blessing. For those not called to the office, you’re not left on the sidelines. Pray for your elders. Encourage them. Love them. They need it.
Pastor Darol Timberlake