“This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you,“-Titus 1:5
We quote Matthew 7:21 quite a bit when we talk about what must be done to please God. Jesus tells us, it is not enough to call on the Lord. We must do what he says in our personal life and in matters pertaining to the faith, worship, and practice of the church. This brings the North Second Street church squarely into January 10th, 2021. We claim to be a Bible believing congregation. We strive to be a church restored to the pattern of the New Testament. It’s time to do the will of our Father who is in heaven. Today we select men to shepherd Christ’s church the way God’s word tells us.
Christ ordained overseers as his special servants and guides in the local church. Paul had scarcely planted local churches when he and Barnabas, “appointed elders for them in every church,”-Acts 14:23. In the eyes of God, it is important to have men shepherd churches who, “are full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.”-Acts 11:24. Christ’s sheep have an enemy prowling around like a lion (I Peter 5:8) who disguises himself like a wolf in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:29). Churches of Christ are not what they need to be until they are overseen by Christians who love, direct, and protect the precious lambs of God.
The Holy Spirit directed the apostle Paul to assign this task to Titus on the island of Crete. He was not instructed to set one man, or even a group of men, over all the congregations on the island. It is the will of God that there be elders in every town. This brings us to our congregation and this day.
This group began over 20-years ago. There have been at least three prior attempts at ordaining men as overseers here. Those efforts were unsuccessful and, in at least one case, harmful to Christ’s church in Clarksville. In light of mistakes made in the past, our current process had been intentionally transparent and deliberate. Discussions actually began during business meetings in late 2019. A plan and calendar were agreed to in March of 2020 and today marks the ninth sermon on the subject. We are a people prepared. We have been looking and praying for faithful men. Today we begin to put this church in order and we beg for God to strengthen and guide us.
Every recognized member of the church at North Second Street received a water-marked sheet of paper in their mailbox today. A locked box has been provided for your selections. On the sheets provided; write the names of men you recognize as shepherds of this group, who bear the qualities laid out in the word of God, and place them in the box. You have until the beginning of services Sunday, January 31st to make your choices known. In this phase of the process, selections will remain anonymous.
The goal of this process, the reason Paul was inspired to give us lists of characteristics elders should have, and the will of God Almighty is that churches belonging to Christ have overseers. My prayer is we humble ourselves and submit to faithful men. Our selections will be announced January 31st after morning worship. To God be the glory in his Son’s church by the Holy Spirit.