Titus 1:5-9

Talks for Growing Christians

Qualities that Should Characterize Elders

Titus 1:5-9

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Lesson Number 2

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Elders are men who have family lives that are blameless.
  2. Elders are men who live sensitive, sensible, and sacrificial life styles.
  3. Elders are men who know sound doctrine.

Practical Application

  1. Send me a few good men if you want to build a church.


  1. When did the gospel come to Crete?
  2. What is meant by the terms “elder,” “overseer,” and “bishop”?
  3. How are elders to be appointed today?
  4. What kind of men are qualified to be appointed as elders?
  5. Is it necessary that elders be gifted in the area of preaching?
  6. What is unsound doctrine?


  1. Possibly when some Cretans were in Jerusalem during Pentecost and brought the gospel back to Crete, or during Paul’s voyage to Rome when his ship stopped at Crete, or during Paul’s fourth missionary journey between his two Roman imprisonments when he left Titus in Crete.
  2. The terms are used for the same church position, but with different emphases. The term “elder” is used to emphasize the spiritual maturity of those who hold this office. The term “overseer” emphasizes the spiritual responsibility of those who hold this office. “Bishop” is the same word; he is a spiritual overseer.
  3. There are no apostles or apostolic delegates today, so it is the function of the church to recognize and appoint elders.
  4. Men who have family lives that are blameless; men who live sensitive, sensible and sacrificial life styles; and men who know sound doctrine.
  5. No, but they should be able to exhort people with sound doctrine and be able to convict or refute those who are involved in unsound doctrine.
  6. It is heretical doctrine or unbalanced doctrine (with an emphasis on demonology, for example, to the neglect of other doctrine).


  1. Why is it important for a church to have a plurality of elders?
  2. Discuss / consider the importance of the qualifications of elders. These are excellent standards for any believer to aim for. If you are a man, are you becoming the type of man described here? If you are a woman, are you striving to be a woman who would complement this type of man?


  1. Make sure that your elders are living examples of the qualifications of godly elders, as listed in Titus 1:6-9.

Key Verses

  • “A bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 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 1:6-9

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