Titus and Timothy
by Phil Martin
The pastoral epistles have something to say about church planting. Well, they have a lot to say since Paul instructs Titus and Timothy how to establish and lead churches in Crete and Ephesus. Interestingly, there is a difference in the instructions he gives to the two men. The scholars say that the church in Crete was younger, less mature, and “unpromising” and Paul’s instructions reflect that. In Ephesus, the church was likely more stable.
In cross cultural church planting, there will be seasons that will look more like Crete, and others that look more like Ephesus. The good news for us is that God chooses to work in both places! You don’t need to be in Ephesus for God to use you, and it is ok if a ministry looks more like Crete. When we get to China, our work will probably look more like that of Titus for a while. That certainly does not mean we are ignoring the books of 1st & 2nd Timothy. On the contrary, 2nd Timothy 2:2 is a cornerstone of our strategy. Entrust faithful men with the gospel who will be able to carry it onto the following generations.