The Pastoral Epistles are a rich quarry of key elements of Christian Leadership. Paul, a master leader, is reminding key leaders of what they need to do in order to lead effectively. 2 Tim. 2 seems to be an intentionally compressed list of six of these key elements. *These elements are not exhaustive. But they are essential.
1. Be continually strengthened by the grace that is in Christ. 2 Timothy 2:1 (ESV) “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,”
- “Be strengthened” is present tense (ongoing), imperative mood (a choice we make), and passive voice (something we receive from outside ourselves). We must continually choose to receive the strengthening grace of Christ for our ministries!
- What is this grace that is in Christ? All of the multi-faceted provisions freely given to us in Christ (cf. Eph. 1:3-14; Rom. 8; Jn.14-16). This includes not only grace during justification but the grace of God throughout our lives. We need to find ways to keep being continually strengthened by grace or we will burnout.
- How can we do this? Primarily by meditating on scripture (2 Tim. 3:14-17; Acts 20:32; Ps 1:2,3; Isa 50:4). Continue in the word because of its constant rejuvenating aspect.
2. Develop other leaders. 2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV) “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others”
The specific command here is for Timothy to do what Paul did with him: to entrust the content of the gospel to other faithful Christians who can teach it adequately to others. The development of solid leaders is the first functional element Paul addresses.Leaders have a special responsibility to develop others.
Why does Paul give this element priority?
- The many other responsibilities and inevitable emergencies and interruptions can easily crowd out this responsibility. This becomes easier to do in a church that has an established discipling DNA.
- This is urgent because quality leadership is essential, and we do not know how long we will be in this role. Some of the roles we are in are temporary based on God’s will. We need to have the mindset: I will not always be here so we need to prioritize leadership to lead the flock.
- This is an exercise of faith that God will grow His church. This is necessary when our groups are both “in season” and “out of season”.
Selection is critical in developing leaders! Pray for and look for “faithful men”-people who show consistent passion for and loyalty to Jesus. 1 key feature to look for- is the person a “doer” -a doer is someone seeking to serve God and others not just simply talk about it but does- especially things not done for the attention of others.