In our society today leadership development is a very hot topic that is discussed in almost every domain and one of the foundational aspects for sustained growth of any sphere it impacts. Business leaders cultivate it to make sure their organizations have a good depth of leadership talent to make sure there the business can thrive through any transition. Sports teams have layers of leadership to make sure the head coach has plenty of support and there are others lined to takeover for the chief if needed. Churches and religious organizations too ensure they are mentoring followers to take up the leadership roles when its their turn.
However this is not a new concept. We see it throughout Biblical history as well. The Bible models good examples of leadership transition (Elijah handing over the mantel to Elisha, Jesus preparing his disciples to lead the church) and some poor examples (priest Eli failing to prepare his sons for priestly ministry).
This week, we will get a very close up look at how the apostle Paul was preparing his spiritual sons for taking up leadership in the church. I am sure with him spending a lot of time in prison, he had to make sure the gospel message can still be faithfully carried out without compromise by the next generation of leaders. And I am sure Paul also felt the need to lay a good foundation for the early church which was still being shaped in its identity and calling to be the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-23).
Let us take a quick look at Paul’s purpose behind these letters to each of his spiritual protégés. He writes each of these from prison and so they carry a lot of purpose and intent to fulfill that which Paul himself is unable to execute in person.
Here we see Paul instilling some much needed confidence in Timothy so that he can be sure of his identity and heritage and not shy away from leadership due to his age. Paul makes sure that Timothy understands that age should not play a factor in his leadership or spiritual authority. Having done that he gives a number of tasks that need to be done and issues that need to be addressed in the the Ephesian church. The issues were not simple nor would they have been easy to confront but nevertheless had to be done.
This second letter was probably written much later but also serves to encourage Timothy to be steadfast in his calling with further instructions on how to address continued issues seen in the Ephesian church. But the letter is not just about instructions and tough actions. Paul also endearingly talks to Timothy about his desire to be visited in prison exposing his human longing for companionship that Timothy could provide.
While Timothy served as Paul’s disciple and leader in training at the Ephesian church, Titus was a Greek Christian and a trusted co-worker of Paul appointed to oversee the churches in the region of Crete. Compared to other letters by Paul, this one is relatively short. After initial introductory remarks Paul dives straight into the tasks that he would like for Titus to address in the church. He also reemphasizes some key Gospel truths.
Paul prepares the next generation of church leaders to be strong and to faithfully carry out the gospel message to the fullest.
Weekly Reading Plan
And now here is the weekly plan for you to read through this section.
Don’t forget to use the template I shared previously to help you on this journey. Also, check out my resources page where I explain this template a little more.
If you want to dig deeper here are some of my suggestions:
- Use the above schedule to read through all of the text
- Trace the theme of leadership transition throughout the Bible and study a few of them
- Optional (if you want to really read through the Bible in a year): Read Psalm 132-134.
And that is it for week 45!
Happy Bible Learning!
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