Summary: In any ministry it can be challenging to minister with every age group of the Church. This message deals with advice Paul gives to the young preacher Timothy to do just that.
“THE APOSTLE PAUL’S GUIDELINES FOR A CROSS-GENERATIONAL MINISTRY”
1 Timothy 4:12; 5:1-2
Dorn Ridge, July 14, 2013
1.) One of the challenges that is often faced within ministry is to bridge the age gap within the church and minister to all ages of the church.
2.) Certainly, this is not a new issue for the church, but one which has been there right from the start of the church to the present time.
A.) In fact the same age gaps often will be found in other areas of life as well as in the church.
B.) Paul wanted to do what he could to help Timothy be a success in ministering to all age groups of the church.
3.) The passages of Scripture we are looking at today show the Apostle Paul imparting some of this wisdom to the young man Timothy.
I. PAUL SAID TO GIVE SPECIAL ADVICE TO THE YOUTH.
1.) The Apostle Paul was an older man giving wisdom and advice to Timothy.
A.) At the time Paul was writing to Timothy he was an older man, and rapidly nearing the end of his life.
aa.) Paul had attained great wisdom from his years of life and his walk with Jesus Christ.
ab.) As an older man of faith and experience, he had a great deal to offer to Timothy.
B.) As we know, the end of Paul’s life would happen much sooner than the natural course and choice of God.
ba.) Paul’s life would be shortened because of persecution from the Roman Emperor Nero.
bb.) It would be about two years after this letter that he would be writing his second letter to Timothy, and soon afterward would himself become a martyr for Christ sometime around A.D.66 or A.D. 67.
bc.) Paul was writing to Timothy as a young Christian man, yet still limited by his years of life and faith in Christ.
bd.) Just as Paul was an older man of the faith, with more years on this earth than Timothy, so also Timothy’s faith was more mature, and his years of life and wisdom more than some of the youth in the church.
be.) Some of them would look up to Timothy’s influence, just as Timothy looked up to the Apostle Paul.
2.) Part of the role of our Christian faith is to pass that torch of faith to the next generation.
A.) We can all visualize the imagery of the Olympics, and that long line of runners who will carry the torch with the Olympic flame, and in turn pass it on to another.
B.) One of the purposes of Paul’s letter to Timothy was to pass the torch of the Christian faith, and his leadership wisdom on to Timothy.
ba.) Ultimately, Paul’s goal was not just Timothy, but through him extending the message of Christ and the church to future generations.
bb.) Timothy was still young in carrying this torch himself.
bc.) Even at that stage of his ministry, his goal needed to be to continue to prepare others, and pass on those values of Jesus Christ.
C.) Paul may have been more mature in faith and life than Timothy, but Timothy had to continue to pass on what had been given to him.
ca.) I want us to look at Paul’s advice to Timothy, for he would have to in turn pass the same advice to the youth of the Church.
3.) Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young.
A.) Young people need to be given the message that they are important, and to live lives worthy and respectable even at their age.
aa.) A charge often levied against youth is their carefree and irresponsible attitude and life.
B.) Reality though is sometimes young people can be very responsible, and powerful in their faith and their walk with Christ.
ba.) The church needs to be a place where the youth are encouraged to grow not only in their faith, but, also in their maturity and witness in Jesus Christ.
4.) Paul said to set an example for the believers:
A.) In your speech.
aa.) Many times young people will feel they are being more grown up by adopting worldly and even vulgar language such as that which is given by the society around them.
ab.) The message of Paul to Timothy, and which Timothy would also pass on to others is set an example in their speech.
ac.) Paul challenges all Christians just as he is here challenging Timothy to set an example in his speech.
aca.) Eph. 4:29
B.) In your life.
ba.) Young people (and really all people) need to set an example to others by our lives.
bb.) Paul especially expressed this for Timothy as a young man because many times young people are not taken seriously.