Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Titus 1:1-9 (NRSV)
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness, in the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began— in due time he revealed his word through the proclamation with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior,
To Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: someone who is blameless, married only once, whose children are believers, not accused of debauchery and not rebellious. For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it.
Qualifications, qualifications, qualifications—they open doors, but they can also become roadblocks. At the beginning of our careers, we are told we don’t qualify because we lack experience, which often means “you best gain that experience at someone else’s expense.” At the other end of our careers we are told that we are “over qualified.”
Our scripture lists qualifications for serving as church elders or bishops. Given the things listed, I doubt that anyone could ever be over qualified. We need time and experience to develop some of those traits, which could be enhanced by having a more-experienced person to walk with us on that journey. We also need to be willing to walk with others as they gain experience.
Some churches thrust people into positions for which they have no training, just grateful to have someone serving in that position. Others prayerfully consider the gifts, talents, and interests of the members and invite them to accept what they have discerned may be God’s call. Training and mentoring are offered on an ongoing basis. What qualifications does your congregation seek when asking someone to serve? How does your congregation mentor and/or train those who are seeking to serve?
Lord, help us to walk along with others on their faith journey, and to welcome others who come to walk with us. Amen.
Go with God.