We had around ten guys who came on Wednesday night for the Bible study on II Timothy. Second Timothy is where Paul writes to Timothy who is like a son to him. Paul is in prison and knows that he will probably not get out and will likely die. It exudes the warmth for which Paul is so well known. He loves Timothy and seeks to encourage and disciple him so that Timothy can continue his work after his death. It's a classic picture of what we all need to be doing--becoming disciples who disciple others.
But how do you do that? Pastor Jason and I have been wrestling with this question for many months. We want to do what we talked about the last two weeks from Ephesians: to equip you to do the work of ministry. Here are a couple of ideas that we are trying to better grasp. On the one hand, everyone needs a basic understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ and the content of the Christian faith. Without that, you are like a house without a foundation--as soon as the first typhoon of life comes you are a goner (like many of the trees we just lost in the storm). You also need practical skills like how to read the Bible and pray, how to present the gospel, how to memorize Scripture, how to share your testimony. Some of us got that through our training with the Navigators, but we've noticed that it is often neglected in many discipleship tracks. We are seeking to draw on this resource plus others and then to contextualize them to our situation here. It's been hard work, but we think we are closer to sharing some of those resources with you.
But here is something simple that you can consider doing. Find someone else and just begin reading the Bible together. How about five weeks on II Timothy which is the best book on mentoring in the Bible? That's long enough to get the main thrust of II Timothy, but not so long that you will be overwhelmed. We can give you some simple Bible studies that you can use. Read the Bible in advance and come prepared to talk about what the passage says, means and how it applies to your life. Then share your life one on one with each other. You say, I can't do that. I'm not qualified? If you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit in you. Remind yourself of everything we have been learning in Ephesians about who you are in Christ and the power available to you. When you have questions you can't answer, talk to us (not that we know everything by any means), but we should be able to help. You may find that after weeks it's been such a good experience you will want to continue.
I'm pretty sure I can tell you what will happen. You will become more dependent on the Lord and thus pray more because you will feel a sense of responsibility for someone else. You will repent more and grow in holiness because someone is looking to you for encouragement and direction. You will find that when you step out even when you lack confidence that God will be there to give you strength. You will receive from the other person as much as you give. Jesus shows up when you do these kind of things! In short, you may find yourself growing more in Christ than any time in your life. Come and talk to us and we will help you get started. What would the church be like if all of us aspired to follow in the footsteps of Paul to find a Timothy?