Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus instructing them concerning affairs of the churches with which they worked.
Many resist the idea that there is an organizational aspect to the church. The opposing view is that the word church simply means the people called together (which is true) and that the church is nothing more than a group of believers supporting one another like a family.
What do these verses in 1 Timothy and Titus reveal about any organization in the churches? Are these just older men who should be examples or is there a more formal organization here?
1 Timothy 3:1-13
1 Timothy 5:17-18
Concerning elders, note how these texts use different words to designate the same work:
Acts 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the ________________of the church…………28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you __________________ , to ____________________the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Titus 1:5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint _______________ in every city as I commanded you– 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a ________________must be blameless, as a steward of God……
1 Peter 5:1 The ___________________who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 ______________ the flock of God which is among you, serving as ____________________ .
What might be suggested by these statements:
Titus 1:5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city….
1 Peter 5:2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you.
Acts 14:23 So when they had appointed elders in every church…..
Some of the opposition to organization is a reaction to abuses by those in authority in churches. An extreme, but not uncommon expression of this attitude would be “The church is controlled by a bunch of men who are only interested in my attending and giving”. What qualifications for elders help guard them against becoming abusers of authority? See also 1 Peter 5:3.
Compare the qualifications for elders in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Are there any differences?
How might Titus 3:1 relate to the predicament of whether or not a church should have a corporate identity?