Those who teach children should read study #84 for children.
Please read Paul’s letter to Titus to learn what a regional overseer does.
· Why do we need regional overseers? (Overseers can also be called ‘bishops,’ or some other useful term.)
[Answer: New flocks need someone to do for them what Titus did in Crete, which was to name and prepare new shepherds. New congregations are usually too immature to do this themselves. In his letters to Titus and Timothy, Paul explained the character and duties of coordinators and of shepherds. More mature flocks, such as Antioch in Acts 13:1–3, may name their own leaders.]
Find in Titus 1:1–3:
· What Paul's position was in respect to the Lord Jesus.
· What God had entrusted to Paul.
Find in Titus 1:4–5:
· Titus’ relationship with Paul.
· Why Paul left Titus in Crete.
· What did Paul tell Titus, the regional coordinator, to do for new congregations in Crete?
Find in 2 Corinthians 2:12–13
· How much Paul valued the company of Titus, his ‘spiritual son’.
Find in 2 Corinthians 7:5–7:
· What other people thought about Titus.
· What Paul was willing to endure when Titus was with him?
Find in Titus 1:6–9
· The requirements for new shepherds (elders).
· What an elder's family should be like.
· What the character of an elder should be.
Find in Titus 1:10–16
· The problem that these elders would have to be able to correct.
In Titus 1:5 Paul told Titus that some things had been left unfinished. Find in Titus 2:1–10 what some of those things were that had to be straightened out.
· What was Titus to instruct older men to do?
· Older women?
· Young men?
· Bond slaves? (Roman law required bond slaves to serve their masters who were called ‘freemen.’)
Find in Titus 2:15 how strongly a regional coordinator must stress these things.
Find in Philippians 2:19–30 names of two coordinators who served in the region of Phillipi.
· What kind of men were these two coordinators?
· What had they done with Paul for the churches?
· How much confidence did Paul have in them?
Pray together for God's wisdom to name the right people to do the right things.
· Agree on who it is that oversees your congregations. It may be the ‘apostle’ who started them, or a leader who shows genuine concern for them. In the New Testament such apostles came from another region to start new congregations.
· Is the coordinator able to mentor newer shepherds? If not, then they should name other coordinators, just as Paul named Titus and Timothy.
Show to new coordinators what they must do:
· Visit, encourage, and write to new congregations, as Paul did.
· Take with him apprentices who learn from him to pass on instruction to others (2 Tim. 2:2).
· Arrange for shepherds to mentor newer elders until their congregation are doing the activities that the New Testament requires.
When the movement is still small, the ‘apostle’ will himself serve as a regional coordinator (Acts 14:21–23). When the ‘apostle’ is ready to go serve elsewhere, he should authorize his apprentices to coordinate God’s work in that region (Phil. 2:19–24).
· Ensure that all shepherds who mentor newer shepherds have a supply of Paul–Timothy studies or of other suitable materials.
· Help congregations to coordinate their work.
· Plan to affirm publicly apprentices who serve faithfully.
· Authorize them publicly by laying hands on them (2 Tim. 1:6, 1 Tim. 4:14).
· Instruct the churches to respect them (1 Cor. 16:10–11; Phil. 2:29).
· Avoid giving authority to people who may be sinning (1 Tim. 5:22).
Arrange for an ‘apostle’ to show regional coordinators how…
· To talk with new shepherds to learn their congregations’ needs.
· To find out what members of their flocks are doing and should start doing.
· To look for men who are starting to meet the requirements of elders in Titus 1:6–9.
Tell about Titus from 2 Corinthians 2:12–13 and 7:5–7.
Tell about Timothy and Epaphroditus from Philippians 2:19–30. Explain how the Lord Jesus blesses His servants through humble apprentice coordinators who are faithful and useful.
· • The need for regional coordinators and what they do, from Parts 1 & 2.
· • What ‘apostles’ do, from Part 2.
Let the children present to the adults what they have prepared.
Let believers give testimonies about the blessings, good work and character of a coordinator whom they know.
To introduce the Lord’s Supper read Numbers 9:1–5. Explain that God’s people ate the Passover lamb in the desert, recalling how God spared the firstborn of families that painted the blood of the lamb by their doors, and led them out of slavery in Egypt.
Form small groups of two or three people, to pray, confirm plans and encourage one another.
Read Mark 10:42–45 and memorize together verse 45.