Elder Training Series

Session 06 - A Qualification Listed in Titus 1:8
, with cross-references in Romans 12:9, Titus 2:7, and 2 Timothy 3:17  (NIV based)

(Repeating) NOTE: As we examine each of the requirements in these next verses, again perhaps it would be prudent and wise for you to mark with a colored highlight marker or pen the items that you need to work on or improve in order to meet God's qualification requirements.

 READ:  an overseer... "must be... one who loves what is good" (Titus 1:8) , with (cross-reference Romans 12:9) "Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good."

SECTION POINTAn overseer must possess a deeply-ingrained and unshakeable "love [for] what is good", and a corresponding repulsion for what is evil.

- - Being "one who loves what is good" carries the Greek definitional meaning of being "a lover of good; fond to good; a promoter of the virtue of good". 
(Titus 1:8, Strong's #5358)

-- By implication in the context of this verse Titus 1:8 and with cross-reference Romans 12:9:
- - - - the concept "what is good" would include the aspects of: "moral excellence and righteousness; goodness; decency; morality; rightness; honesty; integrity; honoring" to other people; appropriateness; and etcetera; 
(Titus 1:8, AHD - 'virtue' (from Strong's #5358))
- - - - an overseer "must be [a person] who" holds, in a comprehensive and unwavering manner, all of these aforementioned aspects - cherishing them, delighting in them, and being thrilled when other people embrace what is good;
- - - - characteristically, his love must be "sincere", genuine, and "without hypocrisy"; 
(Romans 12:9, Strong's #0505)
- - - - he must be "devoted" to this 'love of what is good', and he must tenaciously "cling to what is good" in all of its various aspects and applications; 
(v.12:9, and derived also from v.12:10)
- - - - conversely, he must "detest utterly" what is sinful or "evil"; 
(v.12:9, Strong's #0655)
- - - - therefore correspondingly, he must readily and correctly identify and discern what is good and what is sinful or evil;
- - - - furthermore, both his intense "love [for] what is good" and his repulsion or "hate [for] what is evil" must be intrinsic and indelible to the core of his nature, his being, who he is, what he is;
- - - - and he must appropriately and consistently apply this "love [for] what is good" and his repulsion or "hate [for] what is evil" on a personal level for himself, and on a corporate level for the church or ministries as he exerts his leadership and authority as a pastor, elder, overseer, or ministry leader.

READ: "In everything set them an example by doing what is good." 
(Titus 2:7)

SECTION POINT An overseer must possess a deep love for people, which motivates his loving and pure approach to "doing what is good... in everything".

- - Being firmly grounded in this "love [for] what is good", the overseer must furthermore be actively "doing what is good". 
(Titus 1:8; 2:7)
- - An overseer must be consistently living by his "love [for] what is good" "in everything" that he "does" pertaining to himself personally, and he must be correctly applying that same "love [for] what is good" "in everything" that he "does" pertaining to his functioning as overseer and leader within the church or ministries.
- - His "doing what is good" must be genuine, with no instances of hypocrisy, pretense, disguise, masquerade, or façade; and with no making exceptions or excuses for failure, rationalizing away, minimizing his guilt, and etcetera.
- - Furthermore, his "doing what is good" must be of such excellence and consistency that his modeling and "setting an example" is worthy and inspiring of imitation.
- - Of course, this excellence implies that the overseer has no thought, or intent, or motive, or focus on doing what is good for himself, or for bolstering his own reputation or status, or for ensuring that he gets the recognition and credit.
- - His "doing what is good" is others-orientated - being devoted to doing what is good for God's Kingdom, for the church and ministries, for believers, and for unbelievers, without neglecting to do what is good for his own marriage and the raising of his own children.
- - The overseer does good for other people because he loves people, in the same way that he loves what is good and he loves God.
- - Therefore, the overseer is eager to do what is good - "in everything".
- - His eagerness to do what is good appropriately drives him to always being watchful for those opportunities, while "carefully" maintaining personal "devotion" and "readiness to do whatever is good". 
(from cf. Titus 3:8,1)
- - When he identifies an opportunity to do good, he does not easily dismiss that opportunity, but instead extensively contemplates and tries to find a way to do good in that opportunity situation, even if it exceeds his normal capacity to do that good.
- - And when he determines a viable course of action to do good in that opportunity situation, he does not hesitate or procrastinate to take action in a manner that is appropriate, well-timed, and effective.
- - Because he takes this loving and pure approach to "doing good what is good... in everything", he has no need to respond to opportunities to do good in a begrudging attitude, or as an unwanted obligation or adverse compulsion.

READ:  "...that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 
(from cf. 2 Timothy 3:17)

SECTION POINT An overseer must possess sufficient corresponding training and experience so that he is "thoroughly equipped [to do] every good work" with appropriateness and effectiveness.

- - God wants appropriateness and effectiveness in the overseer "doing what is good... in everything", which then surely requires that the overseer has skill and experience in doing this kind of activity well. 
(Titus 2:7)
- - As with all of the other kinds of activities that an overseer is to be doing, he will need to possess prior training and experience in this kind of activity of appropriately and effectively "doing what is good".
- - If he is deficient in prior training and experience in this regard, then he will need training and monitoring until he has proven himself to "be thoroughly equipped for every good work". 
(2 Timothy 3:17)

-- Some common pitfalls that can occur when a person (such as an overseer) is trying to do a good work:
- - - - the work is not effective;
- - - - the work is not helpful;
- - - - the work drags on for too long of a time period;
- - - - the work is considered an intrusion;
- - - - safety concerns and/or safety procedures are not sufficiently addressed and/or followed;
- - - - care is not sufficiently addressed and/or followed to protect the condition of property that is present;
- - - - he unreasonably refuses to produce the kind of work that the owner instructs;
- - - - he unreasonably refuses to use the suitable materials and tools that the owner already possesses for doing the work;
- - - - he makes matters worse;
- - - - he starts the work too late;
- - - - he overcommits himself;
- - - - he has poor time management;
- - - - he has a poor or inappropriate work ethic;
- - - - he underestimates the costs and/or the amount of time or resources the work will take;
- - - - he overestimates and/or overstates his skill, and thereupon he does unacceptable or poor work;
- - - - he turns the work over to a subordinate who produces inferior quality results;
- - - - he leaves the job unfinished;
- - - - he makes promises that he fails to fulfill;
- - - - he breaks his word part-way through the work, and now insists that he must be paid for his time and work, and/or reimbursed for the corresponding expenses that he has incurred.

- - From this list of common pitfalls, obviously the overseer, "the man of God", must be thoroughly trained and equipped in order to do every good work.
- - And if the good work is spiritual in nature, then likewise the overseer, "the man of God", must be thoroughly trained and equipped in the Scriptures and in doing ministry, in order to do every good spiritual work.

BIG IDEA:  God desires that an overseer possesses the skills, experience, and equipping so that the overseer produces appropriate and effective results in every good work that he is to do.



- - What is your regard, your personal position on the topic of "what is good"?  Can you honestly say that you hold a deeply-ingrained and unshakeable "love [for] what is good", and a corresponding repulsion for what is evil?
- - What is your approach for "doing what is good"?  Is your approach always and entirely loving and pure?  Do you eagerly "do what is good... in everything" that you can?
- - How much training and experience do you have in order to be doing every good work, as part of your functioning as a pastor, elder, overseer, or ministry leader?
- - From your experiences of "doing what is good", what were your behaviors within those activities?  Were your behaviors consistently appropriate and honorable?
- - In regard to all of the above-described aspects of the overall topic of "what is good", according to the Scripture verses studied herein, does God consider your personal position, and your approach, and your training, and your experience to be sufficient to meet His qualification requirement (to "love what is good") and His expectations in order for you to be a pastor, elder, overseer, or ministry leader?
- - Do you see any aspects in which you need to make some corrections or improvements?  If so, what are you going to do about this?  And when?

[Additional Lesson Questions to ponder (optional, if time allows):
- - Theorize and discuss what kinds of effects would likely be produced in a church or ministry, or in the community, if a pastor, elder, overseer, or ministry leader does not consistently and appropriately "love what is good", "cling to what is good", and "do what is good... in everything".]


Works Cited:
The American Heritage Dictionary. 3rd ed., ver. 3.6a (CD-ROM). Cambridge, MA: SoftKey International Inc., 1994.

Bible. “The Holy Bible: New International Version.” The Bible Library CD-ROM. Oklahoma City, OK: Ellis Enterprises, 1988.

“Strong's Greek Dictionary.” The Bible Library CD-ROM. Oklahoma City, OK: Ellis Enterprises, 1988.
Scriptures taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®
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