Summary: Timonthy and Paul
THE MINISTER OF GOD (1 TIMOTHY 2:1-7)
Many have asked me, “How did you come to serve in this church?”
A month before I arrived in Hong Kong in August 2008, I met Rev. Patrick So for the first time in Los Angeles. I told him I was headed to Hong Kong to teach in a local seminary and he said to look for him in Hong Kong. Since we lived nearby at that time, we attended his church. Rev. So invited me to help in fellowship, but I politely declined because the attendance at the last church for the last ten years where I was the pastor was around 80 on a good day. I cannot imagine leading or supporting 300- to 500-strong fellowship with more people than a church.
Two year later with more understanding of the church task at hand, tears rolled down my eyes one Sunday worship morning as I hear of more coworkers resignation, fired or burn-out. The next week by God’s providence I met Rev. So at the lobby, so I quickly seized the opportunity and asked him, “I do not want to work with fellowship groups, but I would like to work with incoming pastors.” It was an unheard of ministry and position at that time. Knowing Rev. So, the answer was “Done! We have a big need.” Mentoring incoming coworkers is still my number one passion at church, , not preaching or leadership.
Young or incoming coworkers are in a precarious position. Those who do not make it leave before three years and eight months are up. Many of them cannot afford to fail because the average graduate is in the 40s. More often that not, they are no closer to the five “dao” the church requires. In America more than 1,700 pastors leave the ministry every month due to moral failure, financial need, physical health, marital problems, work conflict and emotional issues such as burnout, discouragement , anger, loneliness and compulsion.
Paul’s relationship with the young minister, his star protégé and favorite coworker can be best characterized as a father-son relationship. Paul affectionately called Timothy as son Timothy (1 Tim 1:18), my son (2 Tim 2:1), my own son in the faith (1 Tim 1:2), my beloved son (1 Cor 4:17) and my dearly beloved son (2 Tim 1:2), calling him son more times than calling Titus (Titus 1:4) and Philemon (Philem 10).
What challenges, risks await a young person in ministry or service? What advice would you give to a close friend or a new graduate? How would you hope to teach or train him or her? Why should be involved in blessing and bringing up the next generation of kingdom workers?
Pray for All (vv 1-2)
1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
How often do people pray?
How often Americans Pray:
More than once a day – 24%
Every day – 31%
Several times a month – 10%
Several times a week – 16%
Several times a year – 9%
Never – 9%
Not sure – 1%
Source: Lutheran Brotherhood, USA Today Feb 7-9/1997
If you want to see how popular the church is, attend Sunday morning worship. If you want to see how popular the pastor is, attend Sunday evening. if you want to see how popular God is, attend the prayer meeting.
Armin Gesswein Everything by Prayer, Fred Hartley, page 123
The early church chose seven deacons to serve tables (Acts 6:1-4) so that the apostles can devote themselves to ministry of prayer and ministry of the word, in that order (Acts 6:4). First Timothy 1 reflects the teaching ministry, followed by prayer ministry in chapter 2. The noun “prayer” (proseuche) occurs more times in Acts (Acts 1:14, 2:42, 3:1, 6:4, 10:4, 31, 12:5,16:13,16) than any book of the Bible, more than double any book of the Bible and more than all the gospels added together. The early church already set up this format. In chapter 1 the noun commandment (1 Tim 1:5, 1:18)occurs twice, more than any book of the Bible. The early church and her leaders had their hands full with false teaching. As a pastor Timothy and the church at large could not help but get more learning, training and experience, but Paul used a “therefore” to urge Timothy in prayer for four things to two categories of people - all people, and kings and all in authority. There are two and not three prepositions “peri” (concerning), one for “all men” and another for “kings and those in authority.”
Petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving. Petitions is more urgent.