COMMANDS FOR BOTH YOUNG AND OLDER MEN IN MINISTRY
Sadly, I never knew what it meant personally to be discipled, I was saved at 10 years of age, both my parents were alcoholics, so I never knew what a happy childhood was, I sure wish there had been some one to walk with me during my teen years, and may have saved me from many scars, that have left their impact on my life. Despite not having a Disciple-maker walk with me, I became aware(maybe because of my personal situation) that I felt a burden and concern for new Believers. I sure didn’t know what Discipleship was all about, and in reality it was many many years later that I started to get a handle on it. I could never have visualised that when I received my call into Ministry (as a teenager), that one day I would be full time in a Bible College, not only lecturing but also being Pastorally responsible for many young men, who had a call to ministry, this has gone on for over 30 years, and I am still overwhelmed at this glorious privilege God gave to me.
I want us to look at some words of counsel and guidance from the Master Mentor, the Apostle Paul found in 1 Timothy 4:12-16 NKJV Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
AMP.N.T. Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.
Till I come, devote yourself to [public and private] reading, to exhortation (preaching and personal appeals), and to teaching and instilling doctrine.
Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination].
Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them [as your ministry], so that your progress may be evident to everybody.
Look well to yourself [to your own personality] and to [your] teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for by so doing you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
PASSION don’t be intimidated by those who are older than you; simply be the example they need to see by being faithful and true in all that you do. Speak the truth and live a life of purity and authentic love as you remain strong in your faith.
So until I come, be diligent in devouring the Word of God, be faithful in prayer, and in teaching the believers.
Don’t minimize the powerful gift that operates in your life, for it was imparted to you by the laying on of hands of the elders and was activated through the prophecy they spoke over you. Make all of this your constant meditation and make it real with your life so everyone can see that you are moving forward. Give careful attention to your spiritual life and every cherished truth you teach, for living what you preach will then release even more abundant life inside you and to all those who listen to you.
N.L.T. Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.
Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.
MESSAGE Don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.
Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation.
I trust you like me putting these verses from different translations in my blog, as the various translators often bring out a salient point, or something that may specifically speak to you. I could also spend more time to highlight every point Paul speaks about here, but this would become a series of blogs, but I write today to my current readers, and also to the hundreds of young men I have had the privilege to Disciple and Mentor over the years. I trust, that you see the important truth of “reproducing” yourself, and not let any young men under your care, to try and “go it alone”.
Interestingly, Paul says in verse 11 Timothy needs to command and teach these things.
In verse 12 Paul highlights to Timothy the importance of Godly behaviour and lifestyle, and that to be a Minister of the Gospel, WHAT WE ARE SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WHAT WE SAY, THAT WE MUST ALWAYS PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH, SO THAT PEOPLE SEE JESUS IN US.
We may be young In years, but we can also be spiritually mature, and we can say with Paul in Phil. 3:17 NKJV Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
PASSION My beloved friends, imitate my walk with God and follow all those who walk according to the way of life we modeled before you.
N.L.T. Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.
I believe paul is saying to young Timothy, AS YOU LEARN TO LIVE UNDER THE SPOUT WHERE THE GLORY COMES OUT, you will be an example, in what you say (words) demeanor, you will be enthusiastic, your behaviour will line up with the Word of God, the agape love of God will flow through you, and as you live in the Word, then Faith will be your confession and you can also live a pure holy life.
In verse 13. Paull says A LEADER IS A READER, nit only the Word, but good quality Christian books. keep balanced in your doctrine and theology, and may your life and speech ever be exhorting Believers to press in and on in the purposes of God.
Paul believes in and encourages “Laying on of hands” to impart all that is needed to be a man of God, be open to Men of God laying hands in you, it will be a key to a deeper walk with the Lord, and more fruitfulness in ministry.
Paul then suggests we keep all these matters ever present in our heart and thinking and practice, and our diligence will produce such good fruit and people will see our growth in grace, and in our relationship with Jesus,
For every young man in ministry, please mediate and consider all the points Paul lays our here, never develop a “professional” mindset about ministry, recognise it is God who calls you, and wants to equip you, and older men in ministry, come along side the young men, and help them to become the very best in their service for the Lord.
May this simple blog, bless and encourage you.