Q&A with Ted Bigelow, author of The Titus Mandate
by Audra Jennings Wednesday, March 09, 2011
In The Titus Mandate, readers will follow Paul’s special attaché Titus on his treacherous mission to the Mediterranean island of Crete. You’ll learn for yourself what Titus experienced as he went toe-to-toe with the wolves, carrying out God’s very public mission to rescue Christians and churches from danger. Paul’s journey will teach you to spot the wolves and protect yourself and those you love from Satan’s most prolific form of spiritual peril.
Q&A with Ted Bigelow, author of The Titus Mandate
Q: Your book discusses how so many have been hurt by the church today. Have you had any personal experiences that affected your knowledge of this?
Indeed! One time especially. Now I can say, many years later, that I am thankful to the Lord for this, but at the time I was hurt, confused, and there was no one to go to for counsel.
I had been so scared to bring up the issue I had with a pastor in our church that I had waited a year to speak to him. When I did, my own pastor hung up on me, and I was devastated! There were other men who were leaders in that church, so I went to one of them and asked for his help, but he told me that this problem shouldn’t get in the way of the pastor’s successful ministry. I didn’t share the issue with anybody else but, when I tried to talk to the pastor again privately, he and the other leaders literally kicked me and my wife out of church. That really hurt us, and it took several years of being under godly leaders before my heart sort of thawed and began to see perhaps why the Lord allowed us to go through that. The pastor left ministry soon after and, sadly, many aspects of his life fell apart.
Q: Who is qualified to be a shepherd in the church? Where are these qualifications found in Scripture?
Before any man can serve the Lord in church leadership, he must meet a list of 26 requirements in his life. When a man meets all these requirements, he is to be recognized by the sheep as a truly qualified shepherd. The list is found in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. It is stringent and weeds out a lot of men who might like to be church leaders. But this list also motivates men to become more like Christ, the True Shepherd of the flock. It provides a God-given target for men to aim their lives and ministry. Furthermore, this list is the same for every church in every culture, because every man who grows in Christ-likeness looks more and more like the qualities of this list.
Q: How does a great church begin to lose the Gospel?
A great church loses the Gospel by violating God’s word on safety and protection. You see, when a great church makes its decisions using the world’s methods, the sheep treat each other in a worldly way. Instead of preferring each other as more important than one’s self, church decisions are made selfishly, instead of in the manner of preference (Philippians 2:3-4).
Furthermore, a great church marks its own obsolescence when it makes leadership positions a matter of popular vote and not biblical qualification. Leaders are relegated to consultancy not shepherding, while their policies are up for public review and possible censure. The kind of men who succeed well at popularity are never those who confront sin and error, and yet this is exactly what God requires from a leader.
The Titus Mandate relieves the stress of complying with the world’s methods and enables both sheep and shepherds to put into motion all the competency and power God’s Word grants them.
Q: What is the priesthood of the believer and why is it needed in the church today?
Like a little pill that eradicates a deadly disease, the priesthood of every individual believer is a tool of healing in your church in the hands of a mighty God. Just as Jesus has made all Christians “a kingdom, priests to his God and Father” (Revelation 1:6), so we are “being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5). We offer ourselves to Him in prayer and obedience. Only a church that pursues obedience to God in all things is a safe church for the priest of Jesus Christ. The priest of Jesus Christ must represent Him and say, “No compromise allowed!”
Where there is compromise, the believer has authority to call the church to obey Christ’s Word because he or she is empowered by their mighty priesthood. It is an honor bestowed by Christ upon every genuine Christian and authorizes each Christian to demand that God’s Word is obeyed in every aspect of personal and church life. Without believers living up to their priesthood, every church corrupts itself.
Q: Will my church be void of disagreements if it follows the model of leadership from Titus?
No church will be void of disagreements in this life but, in spite of our tendency to disagree, Jesus Christ nonetheless commands us:
“…that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10).
In order for that to happen, we need to live together in a church that, first, has a single leadership team—the kind commanded by Paul in The Titus Mandate. Secondly, we need a way of handling our disagreements so that everybody submits their own roles and responsibilities to Scripture, not personal preference. Since God shows us who and how decisions are to be made in His church, we need to esteem His ways in Scripture as higher than our own.
Q: How can readers find a church that follows the guidelines for leadership as expressed in The Titus Mandate?
It’s actually really easy; in fact, you can find out in two questions. First, ask if the leaders are appointed by the qualifications in Scripture or by votes. And second, ask if the leaders must receive approval from other people before they can make a decision. If they must do this, they don’t have the authority God wants true elders to have.
The Titus Mandate by Ted Bigelow
ISBN: 978-1-4538-3127-4/352 pages/paperback/$14.95
Audra Jennings is Senior Media Specialist at The B & B Media Group. Since 1987, The B & B Media Group, Inc. has used its broadcasting, marketing and advertising experience to provide the specialized and strategic publicity necessary to achieve the public relations goals of each client. The Barnabas Agency, a division of The B & B Media Group, Inc., is a proven provider of exceptional public relations and personal management services for authors, speakers, ministries and organizations.
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