Innovative Thinking teaches me to look at the same from a different point of view. I will look at the passage from a Business and Management angle. After all, building church is like building a business and vice versa.
Perhaps you may want to read whole book of Titus in one go now (it is a very short letter) and then come back here.
The Mission & Vision Statement
- The offer is to let the whole world know about the grace of God (2:11) which is giving us eternal life through Jesus Christ our Savior (2:13) and
- For the Believers that their hearts may embrace the true faith, their minds filled with the knowledge of truth so that their behavior show forth godliness thereby giving glory to God and attracting others to join. (1:1)
- Expand to various towns (1:5)
- Appoint Elders (Chairman of Board, i.e. leaders ) (1:5)
- Put in Order (1:5) - orderliness ensures scalability and allow rapid expansion.
Orderliness comes from everyone embracing and practicing the sound doctrine. All the small details are to be taken of.
As we shall see later, Paul gives detailed instructions for selection and practices of various types of staff from top (Elders) to bottom (Slaves or Servants).
- Teach Sound Doctrine (2:1)
- Walk the Sound Doctrine (2:7)
- Get rid of the violators( rebuke 1:13, silence 1:11, out 3:10).
The thing that make this business a business, this church a church of Jesus Christ, lies in its ideology - the mission, vision, values, and core practices and competences or strengths that make the business unique and keep it working over time. Understanding the WHYs and the WHATs that identify are more important that the HOWs. The WHYs and WHATs unite the people and the HOWs can change with time to achieve the WHYs and WHATs.
Most church leaders and business people tend to get stuck with the HOWs and quarrel over how things must be done in their ways. The are many ways to accomplish an objective. We have to move with time and employ the better technology to accomplish our objectives. We don't have to stick to the past ways of doing things. Paul stressed much on the WHAT's and the WHY's and leave out the HOW's for us to fill in. But unfortunately, we tend to read in the HOW's and stick to them even though they are outdated. We are to teach and to train our people on the sound doctrine. But the methods of training is up to us. We may use the traditional class-room lecturing way, or we may use the internet online computer assisted ways to learn at your own time, or a hybrid or other combinations. With the availability of Smart-phone, a useful training device could be an app for the phone. The key is to get people trained and practice them.
The Sound Doctrine of Grace
I. The Benefits and Outcome of Grace:
- Grace has appeared 2:11. It is available NOW.
- offer SALVATION for ALL people. 2:11
- Renounce Ungodliness and Worldly Lusts 2:12
- Our past old life is foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to lusts, malice, envy, hated and hating others. 3:3
- Live Self-controlled, Upright and Godly Lives NOW 2:12
- Zealous for Good Works. 2:14
- Wait Expectantly for the Blessed HOPE - Appearing of Jesus Christ 2:14
- Jesus Christ died to Redeem us from all lawlessness and purify us for HIS OWN people (rebirthed, new creation) 2:14 by the washing, regeneration, renewal of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ 3:5-6
- We are saved by God's own goodness, loving kindness. 3:4
- Our salvation is not of righteous work done by us (we did not work to get it) but purely by God's mercy. 3:5
- We are justified by His grace to be heirs of eternal life 3:7
- This is trust worthy and true 3:8.
- Execute the above strategies.
- Teach Sound Doctrine (with all authority 2:1. Let no one disregard you 2:15. Insist 3:8).
- Declare 2:15
- Exhort 2:15
- observe the actual behavior of people and encourage them or if they are wrong then ...
- show them where they have err and show them the right ways ...
- repeat in multiple channels of communications and in different presentation in pictures, symbols, taglines, etc.
- foolish controversies
- quarrels about the law
- for they are unprofitable & worthless.
- a model of good works in all respects
- show integrity & dignity
- sound speech that cannot be condemned
- so that the opponent may be put to shame & having nothing evil to say about us.
See the table below.
We can equate:
- Elders to Executive Chairman and Board Members.
- Overseers to CxOs.
- Older Men or Women as Senior Executives
- Younger Women or Men as Junior or Young Executives
- Slaves as the Front Line or Factory Floor or Office Operators, Tellers etc.
All Staff Are To
- Submissive To Rulers & Authorities i.e. obey Government & Laws 3:1
- Obedient to one another 3:1
- Good Excellent Fruitful Work 3:1,8,14
- Help cases of urgent need 3:14
- Profitable for people 3:8
- Gentle & Courteous 3:2
- Speak Evil Of No One 3:2
- Avoid quarreling 3:2
Church generally welcome people to join. Applicants apply jobs in our company. They come with different background and intentions. The ensure the sound doctrine are taught and practiced, we must be vigilant and guard against those who are here to destroy our ideology.
We can identify them by their words and works:
- Lazy gluttons - don't work but want pay. 1:12
- Evil beasts - to discourage, sabotage 1:12
- Insubordinate - 1:12
- Empty talkers
- Profess To Know God
- But They Deny Him By Their Works.
- They Are Detestable Disobedient Unfit For Any Good Work.
- Deceivers 1:10, Liars
- Unsound doctrines
- Legalism: Especially Those Of The Circumcision Party. 1:10
- Devoting Themselves To Jewish Myths 1:14
- Commands Of People and not of truth 1:14
- Stirs up division 3:10
- Rebuke them sharply 1:13
- Silence them 1:11 else they pollute the whole culture and making mockery of those who follow the sound doctrines of right behavior.
- because they are upsetting whole families,
- teaching for shameful gain and
- wrong doctrine
- Out with them after 2 warnings 3:10-11
To build lasting businesses, we need to know our ideology - what is our mission, vision, values and core practices. We must build a culture that sustain and propagate those ideology from top to bottom, from old to new staff. This is done from the top by the top teaching and modelling the ideology. There must also be disciplinary actions put in place to kick out the violators. The attitude towards excellent, growth and good work must be there but growth must be built on the foundation of the sound ideology.
This teaching is actually validated by research work documented and promoted by the famous book "Build to Last" by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. Check it up and be surprised.