So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
And what you heard me say in the presence of many others
as witnesses entrust to faithful people who will by
competent to teach others as well.
2 Timothy 2:1-2
Paul writes this letter to Timothy as instructional and encouragement for a young minister. This letter as with the others are very important as it models something captured in verse 2 of this second chapter. Mentor-ship, or Discipleship as we call it in the faith has a very important role to the life of the church. It could be argued that the demise or death of the ancient church or has been a lack of not only evangelism, but discipleship which has left our church without A. Leadership B. Mature Saints C. Members.
Paul says to Timothy this important tidbit, which will also be key not only to the growth of the ministry, but will aide him in being an effective shepherd and leader. Paul advises him to “entrust to” “competent” (some say faithful) people.
For the Men’s Conference at our home church, this passage was used to direct a message to the men of the Kingdom of God. The message, God’s Kingdom needs men who the Gospel can be entrusted to, and men that will be competent to teach others. This is a call to discipleship and evangelism.
Though the passage is not gender specific, I felt the need to challenge the men to study to show themselves approved. To press forward the Kingdom agenda by challenging men to grow in the faith that they might be deemed by their Pastor one that can be entrusted with the Word of God and Kingdoms Agenda. The growth of God’s Kingdom will hinge on the amount of disciples that are willing to commit to Kingdom purpose. We are calling for and crying out for the heads of houses to take a step forward to lead their families and to press to return to being leaders in our churches, rebuilding and fortifying our families and modeling the structure intended to combat the agenda of the world to unravel our family structures. We don’t need undependable men, we need men that can be counted upon! And not just financially. We have run into a generation of people who feel money solves problems! Money doesn’t spread the Gospel, its the Faith of those that commit to sharing God’s truth that draws people near via their testimony and fever for the truth communicated through the Gospel. Transferring money into an account will not save people in other countries. Someone has to open up their mouth and declare truth that the Gospel might be heard and faith might be achieved by conviction of the Holy Spirit. We need committed men!
Furthermore, we need “competent” men. I love how this is written. Paul says to people who “will be competent”. This is true in two ways. 1. We need people who are Competent Now! 2. We need people who will be Competent in the future!
First, we need men who have already been diligent as a soldier. Our churches are hungry, desperate even, for men who have sought righteousness and sought to fortify themselves with the learning and applying of scripture to their lives. We need men who have decided to dedicate themselves to walking daily with God, not chasing the things of the world and identifying themselves with worldly possessions. Paul says find some people who “will be competent.” We must find men that are dedicated to applying the Word of God to their lives like Balm! We must be saturated in the Word such so that it flows like the anointing and favor we pray for! That it becomes such a part of us that we teach by living, not by speaking! Our lives should be so aligned with God’s Word, that our life is just the Cliff Notes, and our Mouths serve as study guide. We need competent men!
Second, we need men we are willing to become diligent warriors. Our church needs an infusion of men who are willing to get serious about their faith! We need a generation that will cast down their nets, dock their boats, sale their possessions and follow Him! We need men who will but down the magazines and log off the website, crack the spine of the Bible or Double Tap the App and immerse themselves in pressing towards the mark that has been set for us! We need men furthermore that will submit to leadership. This is key in both circumstances, but even more so in this one. These men must be willing to be prepared by their Shepherd to become the vessel they are capable of becoming for the benefit of the Kingdom.
In both scenarios, we find Paul telling Timothy that He must search for these people and model the example that Christ set for the Apostles, and the one that Paul imitated with he and others. Yes, we also need men that are willing to be Mentors! We need men who will engross themselves in not only reaching the mark, but will prepare others as well. Our Lord took the time on earth to select some men that he found could be entrusted with the Gospel and would be Competent in teaching others the truths He gave to them. The spread of the Gospel hinges on this. Developing others that can be carriers of the Word, and not being the sole authority or carrier of truth ensures that the Kingdom will continue to grow and live beyond the days you have been given. There are people that the preacher/pastor will never meet, that are beyond their reach and life experience, but that are accessible to those that sit under the weekly/daily teachings.
In conclusion, I think it interesting that many of our fraternal organizations have practiced a principle that our churches might need to take a hold to. Its Numbers verses Men! The value of our churches is not in the numbers, but in men, in real discipleship! Lord forbid that our Greek and social organizations uphold a standard and the church find its knees weak, compromising intake and wavering on membership requirements, declaring all active despite their walk and actions. We too must build and uphold the standard God set, not excluding those from entering, but holding all accountable who enter to the standard of the Most High! To answer the question, “Yes we need to build up the Kingdom!” But building up the Kingdom is not about numbers and buildings, it’s about the members in the Kingdom being stronger. If we will continue this model, the future of the church will not only be great in numbers, but stronger in mirroring the image of Christ. Having strong believers is a premium, more than having a large numbers of weaklings.