• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Handing off the baton

It is a simple statement that gets lost in the larger context of one of Paul’s letter where hehanding-the-baton writes: “and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith.” (1 Thessalonians 3:2).  This is the same Timothy who was earlier called Paul’s ‘beloved and faithful child in the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:17).  This Timothy, Paul’s fellow coworker, is now sent to minister to the church at Thessalonica.

Paul had ‘handed off the baton’ to Timothy.

What that process looked like is not completely clear or written down.  We can see different parts of the process as we read about Paul’s journeys and study his letters to churches.  We can observe that there was a beginning when Paul identified Timothy for development, there was time spent with him in training, and there was a time when he was sent out on his own.

What does all that mean for you and me?  For one, it raises a simple question: where am I, where are you in the ‘passing on the baton’ process?  Are you in the process of training someone?  Or have you not yet taken the first step of identifying someone or some people in whom to invest?

Secondly, this work should take us back again to our Central Ministry Focus: “reach, invest in, and equip others to release them into ministry”.  The Central Ministry Focus is not a one day webinar we host.  It’s a journey of training where we work with others to develop them and release them into ministry.

Another way to put it, that I often heard from a New Zealand brother, was: who is your Timothy?

2 Responses

  1. My late father, for 14 years was a missionary with RBMU in Belgian Congo. He told me about a young man Engondo who became his Timothy. When I went to the Yali people I found my young Timothy, a man called Enggiahap who helped us establish the church at Holuwon. Actually, he was the first of many Timothies, but he holds a special place in my heart, and I had the joy of seeing him again this month. His oldest daughter is married to the national church (GIDI) Vice President. She is an evangelist. Another daughter has also picked up the baton, and his only living son, who is a keeper for a professional soccer career has chosen to give up his career to be a disciple maker among youth. What joy to see the baton being passed on, and on!

    • Warms our hearts to hear about such ‘baton passing’. Thanks John for sharing such a concrete example. May the Lord bless each of us with such an experience of seeing the baton passed on and on and on.

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