Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org
Men's Leadership Support Group Meeting notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/mensupport/20060714.m.htm
MEN'S LEADERSHIP SUPPORT GROUP
Part XII: Functioning Effectively As A Leader In A Deteriorating Culture
A. Staying Properly Oriented Opposite A Decaying Culture's Errant Outlook
Lesson: Effectively leading others in a decaying culture takes a proper orientation to counter the errant values and outlook the culture itself foments. This involves: (1) viewing one's self as God's slave versus a slave of the people, (2) aiming subordinates from amorality toward godliness, (3) upholding the trustworthiness (4) and eternal stability of God and Scripture and (5) being sure of one's calling of God.
- Practically every secular conservative talk show host complains about our world's decaying cultures.
- Well, Paul's letter to Titus would apply to leaders working in decaying cultures, for it was sent to a man who worked among Cretians, and the Cretian poet, Epimenides himself claimed his countrymen were "always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons," Titus 1:12 NIV; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Titus 1:12.
- We thus begin to view this epistle to note how we as leaders may effectively lead in a decaying culture:
- Staying Properly Oriented Opposite A Decaying Culture's Errant Outlook, Titus 1:1-4.
- In contrast to the other pastoral epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy, Paul gave a prolonged introductory emphasis on the right orientation one is to have in the ministry, Titus. 1:1-4a; 1 Timothy 1:1-2a; 2 Timothy 1:1-2a:
- In the introductions of his other pastoral epistles to Timothy, Paul mentioned his calling and ministry of God's Word briefly in just one verse in each case, cf. 1 Timothy 1:1-2a and 2 Timothy 1:1-2a.
- However, in Titus, Paul used three verses to focus on the right orientation in the ministry, Tit. 1:1-4a.
- We thus may be helped in working in decaying cultures as was Titus through viewing Paul's emphasis on the right orientation that he noted Titus needed while working with people who were given to the deceit, abuse and sensuality of a morally decaying culture (as follows):
- To be effective in a decadent culture, a leader must view himself as a slave to God, not other people:
- Opposite his other pastoral introductions, Paul referred to himself as God's slave, Titus 1:1a.
- Thus, in a decaying culture, a leader must subject himself to God's will versus the will of the people around him, for folk in the ignorance of their bad culture often hold very strongly to very bad views!
- To be effective in a decadent culture, a leader must aim people away from amorality to godliness:
- Opposite his other pastoral introductions, Paul said knowing the truth leads to godly lives, 1:1c NIV.
- Thus, in a decaying culture, a leader must direct his subordinates from amoral to godly living.
- To be effective in a decadent culture, a leader must extol the trustworthiness of God and Scripture:
- Opposite his other pastoral introductions, Paul spoke of the Gospel that leads to eternal life as coming from a God "who does not lie," Titus 1:2a NIV. Note how this counters the people in the decadent culture of Crete who their own poet, Epimenides said were "liars," cf. "I, B" above!
- Thus, in a decaying culture, a leader must emphasize the inherent truth and trustworthiness of God and Scripture in thought, deed and word before those given to deceit and manipulation.
- To be effective in a decadent culture, a leader must exalt the eternal stability of God and His Word:
- Opposite his other pastoral introductions, Paul mentioned God's promise of eternal life as existing before the beginning of time, cf. Titus 1:2b NIV.
- Such a focus highlights the stable divine purpose of history, producing a sense of security to offset the tremendous insecurity and instability of people living in a culture of deceit and abuse.
- Thus, in a decaying culture, a leader must emphasize in his thought, word and deed God's timeless values and views in a FAITHFUL way to mirror the testimony of God's ETERNAL plan!
- To be effective in a decadent culture, a leader must be sure his oversight appointment is from God:
- Opposite his other pastoral introductions, Paul referred to God's appointment of him into his apostolic ministry in light of God's eternal plan in history, cf. Titus 1:2b-3a.
- Thus, in a decaying culture, a leader must be very aware and sure of his eternal divine calling to his oversight role to keep a steady hand in his work opposite the harmfully infectious deceit, abuse and undisciplined views and values of those around him who are impacted by their decaying culture!
Application: May we heed these directives to think uprightly in beginning to lead in a decaying culture!