Almost two thousand years ago, an aging Apostle Paul penned a letter with his final words of wisdom for a young leader in the church. This fledgling leader was timid and reluctant to lead. If you’ve ever found yourself asked to lead beyond your capacity, you don’t want to miss Paul’s instructions for the making of a Christ-centered leader.

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Episode length: 15 minutes

Show Notes

Main idea: The book of 2 Timothy shows us the making of a Christ-centered leader.

Brief intro to the book

  • Paul is writing to Timothy from prison, about to face his execution
  • Paul’s thoughts are on ensuring the faith is protected, taught, and passed on

3 observations about 2 Timothy

  1. Paul was a prisoner in Rome
    • He was being held in a dismal underground dungeon with a hole in the ceiling for light and air
    • Emperor Nero was trying to destroy Christianity
    • Sensing his fate, Paul penned this letter to Timothy, calling him to guard the faith and ensure its passing on
  2. Timothy was being thrust into a position of Christian leadership far beyond his natural capacity
    • Timothy enjoyed a special relationship with Paul
    • Paul left Timothy in charge of the church in Ephesus
    • Timothy was hopelessly unfit for these weighty responsibilities of leadership in the church
    • Three reasons why: 1) Timothy was relatively young for leadership in his day, 2) he was always sick, 3) he was timid and reluctant to lead.
  3. Paul’s preoccupation in writing to Timothy is passing on the gospel
    • Timothy was charged with protecting, teaching, and spreading this gospel to the next generation
    • The gospel—the good news—of Jesus was Paul’s primary concern, and he urges Timothy to make it his

Reflection Questions

  1. Do you identify with Timothy—in over your head and called to lead beyond your capacity?
  2. How could it be a good thing that you feel unfit for your leadership role? What might your weaknesses reveal? Where do they cause you to look for help?
  3. To know how God wants to use you, you must discover your strengths and your weaknesses. Your strengths hint at where God wants to use you, but your weaknesses reveal how he wants to use you. What are your wordly weaknesses? (Are you not that smart, uncomfortable around people, slow to understand, awkward, do you have a speech impediment or handicap?) How might God want to work through your weakness?
  4. How do Paul’s leadership concerns differ from yours?
  5. Paul told the Corinthian church that his primary concern was passing on the gospel. If you asked your group or others you lead what you primary concern is in leading them, what would they say?
This is part of a podcast I do for group leaders at my church. Browse the archives for more.