Train A Timothy
Another relationship we observe in the New Testament embodies training. When, as a faith-filled believer, you find a willing, motivated individual who wants to learn from you, take the time to teach, expend the energy, and invest in that training. Become the mentor God has called you to be. The rewards are great!
Read 1 Tim 4:12-16. You may be wondering whether you are cut out to serve as another person’s mentor. Answer these questions to help you evaluate your suitability:
- Are you a person of patience? Do you take the long-range view?
- What is your area of competence? In what skills are you qualified, and what is your specific area of expertise?
- How strong are your interpersonal skills? Are your relationships generally healthy?
- Are you process-oriented? Are you capable of sticking with people over time while they develop?
- Are you willing to take risks?
- Are you willing to accept responsibility to help someone else grow?
- Is your character worth emulating? Would God approve of someone adopting your behaviors, attitudes, values, language, and mannerisms?
- Are you willing to make time for someone else?
- Is there any sin or unhealthy situation that you have not addressed that could possibly damage your relationship with another person?
- Have you settled the question of Christ’s Lordship over your life? Are you fundamentally committed to honoring Him in every area?
—Potential Mentor Inventory Adapted from As Iron Sharpens Iron, by Howard and William Hendricks (Moody Press, 1995). Used by permission.
Training is a cyclical activity involving instruction, implementation, observation, and evaluation. In this model, the event of teaching/instruction is but one component in the process of training. Training gives further opportunity for implementation and observation with evaluative feedback, followed by further instruction as necessary with the cycle continuing.
Intentional training is needed in the ranks of our ministers today. Skills need to be learned and competencies need to be refined. Many young Timothy’s desperately need increased effectiveness. While the primary result may be that the young minister is trained and more effective, several by-products occur because of this activity. Benefit also comes to the one doing the training. As the teacher shares the principles, they are further highlighted and engrained in the teacher’s mind and heart, whereby strengthening the faith and resolve in the trainer.
Additionally, a certain amount of accountability is applied to the life of the one doing the training, “so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:27). Furthermore, joy wells up in the heart of the one investing the training energy whenever those influenced become effective in the work of God. The aged apostle John, referencing his friend Gaius, said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4).
Seek out a Timothy to train. Well-trained ministers have a better potential for longevity in ministry just as well-trained marathon runners have a better chance at finishing and/or winning the race.
Without Timothy, there is no legacy of the gospel. Therefore train up a Timothy, and help them stir up the gift that is within them. We need Timothy, but a Timothy is birthed by a Paul.