“…holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”Titus 1:9
When I first mentioned that phrase more than thirty years ago I was looked at as a negative individual, then I added the words, “with a church on every corner, like Walgreens.” We have not hit every corner, but we are nearing that number achievement. Another interesting development was the mega-church concept. I cannot say for certain whether the large rallies world-wide, or the concept of reaching the masses, or perhaps even the churches in Korea with their mass attendance jolted the idea. For sure, the concept of bigness is better has permeated our society in every area. I give credit to the many pastors who have endeavored to continue to minister to this segment of professing Christians through multiplied programs.
But, and that is a LARGE word, one has to wonder just what is the measuring tool that we are using. For instance, the great revivals of the past were energized by large numbers of prayer meetings. One has to notice that a large number of churches, in fact, a majority no longer have prayer meetings. I recognize that work schedules, (both parents) children’s activities, travel time, etc all, have left us exhausted in mid week. Weekends find little resemblance to the past. Football, baseball, and many other activities have virtually put church and God in an unimportant position. Should I go on with that list? I can hear it being said already, “Ted is still Mr. Negative!”
The problem that I referred to in the beginning, “a church on every corner… self appointed preachers” has led to buying licenses or degrees without any formal training. Men with enthusiasm but unprepared, and people motivated by feelings and charisma, without solid training in Scripture exegesis and contextual interpretation. Often, the blind leading the blind!
A church must have an overseer or overseers who meet the qualifications of Titus 1:6-9. The overseer must “Hold fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.” (v9)