Paul reminds Titus of the task left to him in Crete, a large island off the coast of Greece, “that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you” (Titus 1:5). The way to choose a leader is to first look at their home. Look for a one-woman kind of man, devoted to his wife, with children who believe and behave. If someone cannot care for their own household, do not give them charge over God’s!
Paul then provides a checklist of virtues: “He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined” (Titus 1:7-8). These qualities must not only be present, but public, evident to others.
Finally, a leader must be mighty with sword, meaning “he must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). The sword is double-edged, it teaches truth, it exposes lies.
Take care in choosing, warns Paul, because the conduct of a community will be a reflection of the character of its leaders.
My God, raise up godly men and women to lead well. Keep them holy and true, devoted to Your Word, sharing its wisdom with Your church, so that Your people will be equipped to live rightly and well, and do good to all they meet.
May I be constant in prayer for our leaders, that they will be on guard against the schemes of Satan. May they stand, and may I stand with them, as we all hold fast to what is true and godly and good, in a world that desperately needs to know God.