3. Embrace the rigors of Christian Leadership (2 Timothy 2:3-13)
Paul devotes the most verbiage to this element- maybe because Timothy was (like most of us) so inclined to shrink from these rigors. Leaders must not merely passively tolerate hardships when we can’t avoid them; we must choose to suffer them, to embrace them as a major and ongoing part of our leadership.
-Suffering hardhips is an imperative we should engage them and embrace them.
What are these rigors? 2:4-6 focuses on the rigors of the work itself.
- Like a soldier, we must stay focused on pleasing the Lord- and not allow our affections to be seduced from this (Mk. 4:19; 1 Cor. 7:29-35). John Stott says, “Our hard work cannot create harvest but our laziness can prevent it.” We must embrace a lean life- less entertainment which is a sacrifice in our culture.
- Like an athlete, we must compete according to the rules- not cheating in our actual ministries, and not cutting corners on our own training. You can not build ministry stealing other sheep- we have a tendency to compete with other churches.
- Like a farmer (especially in unmechanized agriculture), we must work very hard- day in and day out, in season and out of season. While our hard work cannot guarantee a harvest, our laziness can prevent a harvest! Christian Leadership is hard work every day.
- Life out of death is the law of redemption (2:8,9; John 12:24-26). -cruciform pattern of life
- The salvation of souls is at sake (2:10)
- Eternal life and Christ’s reward will more than compensate for the hardships we endure in ministry (2:11,12).