It began with Paul, who was chosen by Jesus to be an apostle. Paul had a message that he communicated consistently wherever he went throughout his ministry. This message was passed on to Timothy. In the previous chapter Paul described his teaching as a treasure thatís been entrusted to Timothy to guard. Now Timothy needs to find reliable people to entrust this message to. A reliable person is someone who will keep the message intact, someone who wonít add to it or take anything away from it. Itís someone who will hold on to the message, preserving its integrity. Yet these reliable people must also be able to teach others. And ultimately they too will have to pass the message on to another generation, so they must be equipped to find reliable people to in the next generation they can pass the message on to.

Now the immediate context is the preservation of the Christian message in the church in Ephesus after Paul dies. Yet we also find a principle here that applies to living a life thatís built to last. IF WE WANT TO LIVE LIVES BUILT TO LAST, WE NEED TO MULTIPLY OUR INFLUENCE THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE.

You could argue that Paulís most effective years in ministry were the years he was locked up in a Roman prison. This is because Paul had learned how to multiply his influence through people like Timothy, Silas, Titus, Luke and other coworkers he invested himself in. So even though Paul is locked up when he writes this letter, his ministry is still active through the people heís multiplied his influence through.

Maybe youíve seen the movie Mr. Hollandís Opus. Itís a movie about an aspiring composer named Glen Holland who takes a job as a high school band teacher to pay the bills. His real passion isnít teaching, but itís to compose a symphony. But life has a way of edging out our dreams, and he spends the next 35 years teaching high school band, never finishing his symphony. When he retires, all of his former students gather together to honor their high school music teacher. One of his former teacher is now a governor, and as she takes the podium she says, "We are your symphony, Mr. Holland. We are the melodies and notes of your opus. We are the music of your life." Glen Holland learned to multiply his influence through other people.

We multiply our influence through our children. Although we must resist the urge to project our own dreams onto our kids, we multiply our influence by instructing our kids in biblical values and equipping them to live Christ centered lives. In fact, part of the legacy we leave our world is our children and grandchildren.

We also multiply our influence through our involvement in Christian service. Whether itís by serving as a volunteer on our youth staff, serving in childrenís ministry, or leading a care group, we multiply our influence through other people. I was so excited to hear that we have twelve people taking our 301 seminar "Discovering My Ministry" this weekend. Those are twelve people who want to multiply