This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you - if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
You thought that we had beaten the "above reproach" thing to death already, and maybe we have. Paul doesn't think so because he's about to give you a list of things which are inside the fence for "above reproach", which we will get to next week. But there's this little clause here in this letter to Titus which fascinates me -- because it's something that I think (thus this series) is either overlooked by familiarity or ignored because it is frankly too much to bear: the elder is God's steward in the church.
Now, so what? See: I think some of you are still skeptical about what we have read so far and briefly exposited. For example, that the elder as a husband of one wife and the father of faithful and obedient children ought to be faithful in little things before he is faithful in greater things -- and me putting the fine point on that saying by making it clear that in God's economy, the family is the lesser household, and the church is the greater household.
But here, this is exactly what Paul does with one word. This word here "οἰκονόμον" means "a steward, manager, superintendent (whether free-born or as was usually the case, a freed-man or a slave) to whom the head of the house or proprietor has intrusted the management of his affairs, the care of receipts and expenditures, and the duty of dealing out the proper portion to every servant and even to the children not yet of age". It's a strange word to use for the one left to "set things right", but it turns out it's the scripture word for what the elder must do.
It turns out that the church is not your house, and those there are not your people, but they are in fact the people of your master. You have been put up there, dear pastor reader, not to show us your great gifts -- because you're just a former slave, however trustworthy you might be. It doesn't matter in the least what you want, and it matters exclusively what God wants there. You are put there to be God's steward, and to make sure the proper portion of God's storehouse is dealt out to every servant, every member of the household, even the children who are not yet of age.
And God's storehouse is bountiful, dear pastor: sufficient and even lavish for those to whom it is meant for. You should be a steward of that, and see if it leaves you time for any other petty concern.