“Through the instructions he gives to the new minister at Crete, as well as to those Titus will appoint as church leaders, Paul cautions mature believers never to act as though they are only responsible for themselves. The knowledge that Christian maturity brings, combined with the spiritual dangers that others face, obligate Christian leaders to lead. Before God, we do not have a right to say, ‘Others may be in spiritual need, but I’m not responsible for them.’ Leadership aversion for the sake of the ‘personal peace and affluence’ that Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer identified as the primary goals of most people in our culture is not Biblically defensible. God requires us to consider how our attitudes or actions will affect others.”
When viewed from this perspective, leadership in the church is nothing more than the practical outworking of love: love for God and love for His people. My own personal experience confirms that the concern Chapell raises in the above quote is quite legitimate. It is alarmingly easy for me (and I don’t think I’m alone in this) to fail to realize the obligation love owes in assuming God-required responsibility for the spiritual needs of brothers and sisters. And while a plethora of excuses may be offered, I’ve seen that such failure can have devastating consequences in the church. As elders we are inescapably responsible for the needs of others, and we are called to set aside our own desires in order to help meet those needs. May the Lord enable us to do so more and more.