LEADERSHIP TRAINING. Why did Paul single out Timothy? This young man had a servant heart; he was available, teachable, like-minded, faithful, and a reproducer. Some of these traits Paul may have seen in Timothy when he entered Lystra. Paul had been burned once by a young man, Mark, but he was willing to chance the hurt and pain again. Paul not only made disciples, he produced leaders also.
Paul’s conception of the leader in the Christian faith is reflected in his statements he used to describe that role:
1. Trustee, 1 Corinthians 4:1
2. Administrator, 1 Corinthians 12:28
3. Overseer, Acts 20:28
4. Elder, Acts 20:17
5. Ruler, Romans 12:8
6. Teacher, 2 Timothy 1:13
7. Reproducer, 2 Timothy 2:2
Of course, not every leader fills all these roles, but Paul’s use of these roles gives some indication of the complexity of the task, and the need for flexibility and adaptability in exercising leadership. Paul and his inner circle were men of many dimensions. Paul employed eight metaphors to encourage Timothy to be a strong leader: child, teacher, soldier, athlete, farmer, workman, utensil, and bond-servant (2 Timothy 2:1-26).
Timothy was a son to Paul and a beloved friend. “You can tell a man by his friends” is an old adage. A man’s ability to make and maintain enduring friendships will in general be the measure of his ability to lead. No man in the NT made fiercer enemies, but few men in the world have had better friends than Paul. Inevitably, Paul involved his friends in all sorts of risks for Christ’s sake, but they followed him cheerfully, because they were assured of his love and concern for them. His letters grow with the warmth of his affection and appreciation for his fellow workers. Timothy, who had witnessed Paul’s stoning in Lystra, joined the team.
New friendships were struck and the trio of trailblazers took off from Lystra and traveled from town to town, leaving behind churches pulsating with life.