Summary: The parternship of Paul and Timothy teaches us many things about the art and science of a successful alliance
How to Have a Successful Partnership
Illustration:Grace Coolidge, the wife of President Calvin Coolidge, tried to surprise her husband by having his portrait painted. When it was finished, she hung it in the library of the White House. Later the same morning the President happened to walk into the library accompanied by a senator. They stared at the picture together in silence. Finally Coolidge commented quietly: "I think so, too."
Bits & Pieces, January 9, 1992, p. 23
1. Have you ever considered what are some of the ingredients of a successful partnership?
In this passage, Paul the apostle demonstrates how he formed one of the best partnerships in history with Timothy.
First, Paul found the church members speaking well of Timothy.
Find people who have a good reputation in the church. Timothy was blessed with a pious mother’s love that taught him valuable lessons about Godliness.
The young man displayed these exemplary characteristics in the church so the members were ready to support him as their missionary. Not only would Paul be able to work with this teachable young man, but he would be a beneficiary of the church’s and families’ prayers. Trust the Lord to give you partners that are joy to work with who share similar goals. Ask the Lord to help you to find great partners that embody the qualities of Timothy.
2. Paul and Timothy’s partnership worked well because they complimented one another. Paul was bold and Timothy was naturally timid. (2 Tim. 1:7)
Both men had spiritual gifts, personalities and callings that balanced out their strengths and weaknesses.
Ask the Lord to help you be able to work in complimentary fashion with co-laborers in Christ.
3. Paul and Timothy’s partnership allowed each to grow in their capacity to love the Lord through greater service.
The two men synergistically enhanced one another’s ability to demonstrate a greater love for the Lord and people.
Trust God to help you find people who will enhance your capacity to love.
4. Paul and Timothy’s partnership showed everyone how God could produce unity through diversity. Timothy was a Greek and Paul was a Jew, but they worked in superb harmony to demonstrate how the Spirit blends diverse backgrounds through Christ.
Ask the Lord to help you to trust Him to produce harmonious partnerships out of the diversity of backgrounds represented in your fellowship.
5. Paul and Timothy’s partnership proved that they were willing to go the extra mile to avoid any scandals. Timothy allowed himself to be circumcised to eliminate any unnecessary offense to the Jewish audiences.
Ask the Lord to help you find people who are willing to make sacrifices to minimize social barriers for the truth
6. Paul and Timothy’s partnership shows us how a orderly church produced fruitful missionary teams. It is not enough to just enjoy harmony unless our fellowships are producing good fruit.
Ask the Lord to help your fellowship send out fruitful missionaries that are able to extend the church’s ministries to regions beyond.
7. Paul and Timothy’s partnership were done voluntarily not under compulsion. The church did not try to impose its will on the two men, but engendered an atmosphere of voluntarism.
Ask the Lord to help your fellowship encourage people to come forward as servants for in-reach, outreach and up-reach (worship) ministries.
8. Paul and Timothy’s partnership maintained a humble, truthful and respectable partnership throughout their entire lives.
Ask the Lord to help your good partnerships to foster life long edifying relationships.
9. Paul and Timothy’s partnership encouraged the church to follow the pattern of emphasizing childhood instruction that form the foundations for partnerships.
“As a child he had known the scriptures.” Children are most teachable and open to being conditioned to work as partners.
Ask the Lord for great teachers, parents and examples so your children can learn the advantages of partnerships.
Conclusion:The story is told of a judge who had been frequently ridiculed by a conceited lawyer. When asked by a friend why he didn’t rebuke his assailant, he replied, "In our town lives a widow who has a dog. And whenever the moon shines, it goes outside and barks all night." Having said that, the magistrate shifted the conversation to another subject. Finally someone asked, "But Judge, what about the dog and the moon?" "Oh," he replied, "the moon went on shining--that’s all."