Some people lead well, other even lead strong. But mature leaders produce leaders, because they have grown in the skill to recognize potential, encourage faith and train for skill. Be that leader!
2 Timothy 2:1-10
1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
Observation and reflection questions
Context: Paul is writing his last words of encouragement to Timothy with much affection, before his anticipated execution.
- How does Paul liken his relationship to Timothy? And how can you see it played out in this text?
- Considering the context sketched in verse 1, what does Paul essentially call Timothy to do in 2? And why does he do it? Give two possible practical reasons.
- What are the qualifications of the people Timothy ought to select for service? In broader terms, what should Timothy look for in the people around him before delegating them for service?
- As a father to a son Paul gives instructions to Timothy in verses 2-7; in your own words explain what Paul wants Timothy to do and teach others. [Note the metaphors Paul speaks in – in your answer speak without metaphors].
- As a father to a son Paul gives his life as living example for Timothy to emulate in verses 8-10. In your own words describe the example Paul leaves young Timothy to follow in these verses.
- What then is the task of the leader of facilitator, considering the diversities of gifts and abilities within a group?
Personal Reflection and Application
Paul helped Timothy to grow from being a mature Christian man to become a father in the Spirit: to move beyond leading and teaching well but also to enable and entrust others to grow into maturity and leadership, considering a proper character and skill for a specific task.
- Think of your fellowship group or work group.
- If you were to write them a letter highlighting three areas in which they would do good to copy your life (how you live to serve Christ daily) – what would it be?
- Paul instructed Timothy to look for people who can help in ministry, considering their character and skills. List two to four people in your group whom you can delegate aspects of your fellowship’s programme to, considering their faithfulness and their skills. [Before appointing these people it I always wise to speak to a mature Christian who knows you and the person well and get his or her input].
- Paul kept encouraging and instructing Timothy after delegation; how will you ensure a relationship where the person grows and feels encouraged in serving Christ and the group in this way? How will you inspire and direct these people in future?
Thank God for your examples in faith and life – highlighting one in particular. Pray a prayer of blessing over that person. Thank God for who and what he has entrusted to you, and prayerfully consider your life as example of faith and godliness to these people. Then pray for the people you consider entrusting tasks to – that they may grow in in the knowledge and grace of Jesus our Lord and Savior (2 Peter 3:18).