Monday, March 14, 2011

The Titus Mandate by Ted Bigelow

I have to begin this review with an apology for not being able to add a photo.  I am borrowing a computer and it won't let me upload.  I will add a photo as soon as I can.  Enjoy the review.

The back cover boasts ...
It reads like a spy novel...only it's biblical...
Thousands of real churches-perhaps yours-have been infiltrated by dangerous men.  The only escape is the Titus Mandate, the apostle Paul's rescue plan for your church spiritual safety, blessing and unity. 
If today's Christians are to be rescued from this danger, we have to understand what happened on the ancient Mediterranean island of Crete.  There Paul directed his prot'ege Titus to go toe-to-toe with the wolves, carrying out God's very public mission that protects Christians and churches from spiritual dangers. 

Through the Titus Mandate, you'll be equipped to spot the wolves and protect yourself and those you love from Satan's most prolific form of spiritual danger. 

I was excited to read this book.  I thought it would be interesting and answer some questions I have. 
For me it was enlightening.  It was interesting.  But it was also a little hard to read.  Mainly because for me it was a little 'deep'.  I don't mean that as a negative thing.  It isn't a book you can just sit down and leisurely read.  It requires focusing and thought.  Which is a good thing considering the topic. 

I can see how it would be a great resource and tool for church leaders.  And for lay people that interested in getting deeper and understanding how the Bible says the church should be "run". 

I found a Q&A supplied by the publicist (click here).  And the following is part of the Q&A . . . 
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.

And here's the introduction:
The church is supposed to be the safest place on earth for Christians, so why is it often a place of deep dissatisfaction? Many Christians suffer from difficult church situations and are unsure how to live and worship with such stress, let alone grow in the midst of it. Much of this pain comes from being under poor church leadership. According to Ted Bigelow, if your church doesn’t follow God’s mandate for leadership as set out in the book of Titus, it is almost certainly headed for disaster.

I included the above because I agree with this thought process.  I have experienced and witnessed much confusion, worry and stress over worship.   There have been times when I found church ( a particular church) to be a place of dissatisfaction.  And, getting the opportunity to read this book to give me some much needed advise and wisdom was a Blessing to me. 

This book is available at Amazon (click for a direct link).

Here's a link to the authors website (click here

This book was provided for review by B and B media.  I was not asked to provide a positive review.

But as a caution to I also think we need to be careful not to allow ourselves to be dissatisfied with where we worship. One topic we discuss regularly in our Sunday Services (for info. click here.) is the topic of whether worship is for 'me' or God. Do we worship because we are being selfish and looking for something to please ourselves? Are we looking at worship as another way to grow closer to God? Are we worshipping to check of f a box? Or are we worshipping to Praise God?

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