Summary: It takes more than leadership to built up the Kingdom of God, but good leaders can make a significant difference.
Timothy Joins the Team!
1. Joke: A not-too-bright lady was stuck in a snowstorm when she remembered her dad's advice: "If you ever get stuck in a snowstorm, wait until a snowplow drives by and then follow it."
Eventually she saw a snowplow so she followed it along in her car. After 30 minutes, the snowplow driver stopped, got out, and walked up to the woman's car asking, "Lady, why are you following me?"
She explained what her father had told her, and the driver said, "Well I'm done with the Walmart parking lot now. Do you want to follow me to Best Buy?"
2. The snow plow man was leading the way, but to where? Because someone is leading does not mean we should follow. Everyday in the news it seems famous leaders have to apologize and step down from their post due to their behavior.
3. America places way too much stock in the concept of the “born leader” or the “natural leader.” More often than not, the best leaders are made, not born. But they will only take the reigns when supported and developed by followers.
4. Consider this article from Forbes:
Good, skilled followers are able to nurture good leadership, by invisibly helping keep a novice leader upright and on track. It's a lost art in our narcissistic times.
There is a conundrum in leadership: Most of the people who naturally gravitate toward leadership roles don’t have the humility or decency you’d want in a leader. And most of the humble and decent people that we might want to see in leadership roles quickly feel chewed up by the tensions, the criticisms, the thanklessness of the job. They soon retreat to safety or they end up curled up in a ball in a corner office. And only their more ruthless counterparts are left to compete for supremacy.
If we want to have any hope of changing this, we have to do a better job of building up the people who aren’t natural leaders but who have qualities that can serve our organizations and our communities. [written by Rob Asghar, forbes.com]
5. HPC has done this with me and many other.
6. Timothy was a developed leader. He came up through the ranks. The church developed him, and then Paul mentored him to develop him further.
Main Idea: It takes more than leadership to built up the Kingdom of God, but good leaders can make a significant difference.
I. Good Leaders Are Hard to Find: Timothy’s BACKGROUND (1-2)
A. Timothy became Paul’s BEST assistant.
We know Timothy from the two letters Paul later wrote to him, I and II Timothy.
Philippians 2:19- 22, “I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy's proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.”
B. Timothy, his mom, and grandmother came to BELIEVE in Jesus.
Probably he, mom, grandmother believed when Paul came to Lystra (Acts 14:8ff).
C. Timothy was young but MATURE.
1. Recognized Timothy’s potential and readiness.
2. How old must one be to serve in ministry? John the Apostle was probably 16 when he began following Christ, perhaps 18 when made an apostle.
3. Timothy was perhaps under 30 when Paul left him behind to become the leader of the church at Ephesus. He actually appointed elders there.
• Sephardic Jewish leaders make the minimum age 22.
• I would have qualified, as I began pastoring at the age of 22. Although I leaned upon older pastor friends for direction. When I came here to HPC, having just turned 27, I had nearly 5 years under my belt.
• Other men aren’t ready to pastor until they are into their 40’s
I Timothy 4:12, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
D. Are you spiritually mature, or just a spiritual BABE?
II. Everyone Adjusts When New Persons Join the TEAM (3)
A. Paul had to adjust to INCORPORATING Timothy.
Any change in our elder’s board, for example, changes the dynamic of our church. The same is true for the deacons and deaconesses. New strengths and new weaknesses, new social dynamics, new ideas and different perspectives.
B. Timothy had the most adjusting to do as the new KID on the block.
1. Timothy’s Jewish mom meant considered Jewish, but never circumcised.
2. Paul accused of not observing the Torah, which was not true; if Timothy was not circumcised, this would have added ammunition to that claim.