Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
We love watching DYI, Makeover and How To shows! Randy and I will sit for hours to watch shows that tell us how to improve our home, car or yard. It is comforting somehow to know exactly how the work is accomplished in the best way by professionals who it all the time. Projects of significance are done best when the right method and materials are used to get it done. We know it will last longer because it was done right…according to those in the know!
How does God’s church expand exponentially after Jesus went back to heaven to prepare a home for all of us? Who is “in the know”? Who has the right method and message? God appointed Paul to write God’s Best How To down for all of us who would follow after Paul with a desire to expand the Message of Jesus to the world.
In 2 Timothy 2, Paul explains to Timothy (and to us) the Message and Method clearly and concisely. Read and see for yourself how God explains through Paul how to pass on this method and message to others He will call in the future. (Us!)
2 Timothy 2, The Message
Doing Your Best for God
1-7 So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain.
8-13 Fix this picture firmly in your mind: Jesus, descended from the line of David, raised from the dead. It’s what you’ve heard from me all along. It’s what I’m sitting in jail for right now—but God’s Word isn’t in jail! That’s why I stick it out here—so that everyone God calls will get in on the salvation of Christ in all its glory. This is a sure thing:
If we die with him, we’ll live with him;
If we stick it out with him, we’ll rule with him;
If we turn our backs on him, he’ll turn his back on us;
If we give up on him, he does not give up—
for there’s no way he can be false to himself.
14-18 Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul. Hymenaeus and Philetus are examples, throwing believers off stride and missing the truth by a mile by saying the resurrection is over and done with.
19 Meanwhile, God’s firm foundation is as firm as ever, these sentences engraved on the stones:
God knows who belongs to him.
spurn evil, all you who name god as god.
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #10: KNOW THE MESSAGE AND KNOW THE METHOD. DO YOUR BEST AS YOU PASS IT ON!
Leadership Characteristics –
–Always be looking for “reliable” people, those who believe in Christ, competent to teach, with a heart to serve Christ, to pass on The Message of Jesus Christ.
–Focus on The Message. Live The Message.
–The Message is Jesus died and rose again for all of us. “It’s a sure thing” so we live gratefully and humbly knowing we are redeemed.
–We do our best for His glory. He gave us The Message in human form and saved us. “If we die with him, we’ll live with him.”
–We tenaciously hold The Message up as a banner no matter what is happening around us. “If we stick it out with him, we’ll rule with him”.
–Doing less than our best, giving up, turning our backs on The Message will not be tolerated by God. “If we turn our backs on him, he’ll turn his back on us.” This is serious business.
–Avoid, like the plague, pious, unnecessary “church talk” that doesn’t’ agree with our walk with God.
–Don’t give up. Never, ever give up. He will never give up on us….”there’s no way he can be false to himself.” God in us never gives up on us! When we can’t count on anyone or anything in this life, we can count on God! Isn’t that comforting and exciting at the same time? Doesn’t this give us relief in knowing it’s not all on us? AND doesn’t this reveal, once again Who our God is?
“Think it over. God will make it all plain.”
THE MESSAGE: “Jesus , descended from the line of David, raised from the dead. Everyone God calls will get in on the salvation of Christ in all its glory.” John puts it another, clear, and concise way, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” (John 3:16-18, The Message) AND “it’s a sure thing!”
THE METHOD: Pass The Message on and on and on… “Pass on what you have heard from me–the whole congregation saying Amen! (No one left out!) –to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others.” Let competent leaders train competent leaders who train competent leaders, and on and on…The Message, doing our best, and not giving up.
“Repeat these basic essential over and over to God’s people.”
“Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.”
Belief must match behavior.
Dear Heavenly Father, You gave us The Message that saves us. You gave us the Method to tell others. May we spread The Message by Your power that lies within us, in the precious, beautiful Name of Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Lord and Savior. Continue to transform us to speak clearly and concisely. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen