In 2 Timothy 2 Paul now writes to Timothy in Ephesus, a major city in Asia Minor. Paul probably realizes he is facing a death sentence. He gives Timothy some pictures to ground his mentoring work. 1) Be loyal like a soldier to his leader. Never forget that Jesus is the leader and he is the one to please, not the fans. 2) Endure like an athlete who observes strict discipline so that he can compete well. Endure suffering, for God knows and is using you. 3) And then, be patient like a farmer. Seeds are planted but perhaps others will water, weeds will be dealt with at the end by the farmer, and eventually there will be a harvest. It takes time for a crop to grow and it takes time for a convert to develop spiritual muscl
Two of the problems that church workers face are quarreling about words and godless chatter. How often have evil rumors hurt others? Likewise quarreling only divides. And the second problem is being distracted from the goal. The goal is pleasing God and building his kingdom, not a fancy church or a famous congregation and not a dazzling sermon. It is not about the leader’s fame but about God’s kingdom.
Paul encourages ‘You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. (2:1-1)” Another way of saying this is, “We have been blessed to be a blessing.” Good leaders are loyal to Christ, disciplined and patient with their disciples. So which image appeals to you: soldier, athlete or farmer? Can you think of an adjective you would choose to describe each picture? Fill in the blanks:
- A soldier is ________________
- An athlete is _______________
- A farmer is ________________
What picture might you give to another to talk about leadership? Perhaps a pilot or a doctor or a teacher or a plumber. Blessings as you work these images.