By Tony Cooke
Leaders in the Body of Christ today are searching for workers who will be loyal, faithful, and provide quality service. They need people like Timothy, a man who remains a sterling example of how supportive ministers can assist leaders today.
What made Timothy so special? In Philippians chapter 2, Paul said he didn’t have anyone who was like-minded, except Timothy.
20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.
21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.
22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.
Timothy shared Paul’s heart toward the Philippian believers and toward ministry in general. He was the only one who completely shared Paul’s values, priorities, purpose, convictions, and attitudes. Unlike others who were seeking their own, Timothy was not self-promoting or self-willed. He had no personal agenda. That’s what made him so valuable to Paul.
Timothy exercised ministry and leadership toward others in the context of serving and following Paul. He added value to Paul by becoming an extension of Paul’s ministry to the Philippians. What set Timothy apart was his loyalty and heart-connection to his father in the faith.
Paul also told the Philippians that Timothy “…will sincerely care for your state” (Phil. 2:20). Timothy was no hireling; his heart was totally involved in what he did. Seeking the things of Jesus Christ and serving Paul were woven into the very fabric of his being. He shared Paul’s heart to the point that Paul said, “…as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel” (Phil. 2:22).
How does this relate to us? Every pastor today is limited by the fact that he is a human being. Though he is anointed by God, the pastor can only be in one place at one time and has limited time and talents. No pastor (or any other member of the Body of Christ) possesses all gifts and abilities.
God deliberately made us “deficient by design” so that we would recognize our need for one another. The gifts He didn’t give to me, He may have given to you. The gifts He didn’t give to you or me, He gave to someone else. The only way the local church can be successful is for us to first recognize that we are individually deficient by design, then to honor and respect the gifts He’s given others, and finally to use them together—in partnership and teamwork—for the building up of the Kingdom.
Just as Paul needed Timothy to go places in his stead and to interact with people he could not personally reach, pastors today are in need of Timothys who will represent them and function in different capacities and, at the same time, be accountable in their work.
My prayer for the Body of Christ today is that there will arise a generation of supportive ministers who will not have merely a professional, formal relationship with their pastors, but will become true spiritual Timothys—supportive ministers who will be like-minded, who will sincerely care for the people, and who will walk in true partnership with the senior pastor.
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