For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you.
— Titus 1:5 —
Gideon Manda: Central African Preaching Academy | Malawi
Paul asked Titus to set in order what remained and appoint leaders in the church so that ministry would run smoothly. This highlights the need for leaders in the church. The role of elders/overseers/bishops in the church is crucial. Elders are a group of men who are appointed to lead God’s flock as they preach and teach the word of God. Elders ought to work willingly and discharge their responsibility with reverence. They are meant to establish the pattern of faith for the people to follow while imitating the example of the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Although Scripture clearly calls for plural leadership, many pastors in Malawi seek to manage God’s work single-handedly, and as a result, the work of the Lord suffers. In order to ensure their personal interests, some senior pastors even appoint members of their families into leadership. This is not honoring to the Lord as it does not honor and follow His word. The process of selecting elders should be done by seeking God’s guidance in prayer. Clear criteria are given in the New Testament, with 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:5–9 being key passages that provide details on the essential qualifications of an elder. Elders ought to work willingly and discharge their responsibility with reverence. We ought to pray continuously for church leaders. Think of the leadership at your church. Pray for them, that God would bless them, grow them, and use them. Next time you see them, thank them for their ministry labor.