You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:1).
With these words, the Apostle Paul challenges his young protégé, Timothy, not to grow weary or weak as he endures for the sake of the gospel and the church in Ephesus. The church at this time was experiencing heavy persecution from the Ephesian culture around it, which had little interest in the gospel. But the church was also facing pressure from inside in the form of false teachers. The church, and Timothy, was pressed on all sides.
Put yourself in Timothy’s shoes. Your mentor, who happens to be the Apostle Paul, is in prison and about to be executed for the sake of the gospel. You’re about thirty years old, which was when you would begin ministry in those days. You’re being asked to guard the true gospel, to reason against false teachers, and to teach the people of the church in patience and wisdom, even when they don’t want to hear from you.
A couple of weeks of that and most of us would want to quit; just walk away and let someone else deal with it.
Paul knew Timothy would face this temptation, so he told him to draw strength from the only lasting source—the grace of Jesus.
What does it take to last in leadership? How do you finish well? In this episode, we’ll look at 4 challenges from the Apostle Paul for being a leader who’s built to last.
(Episode legth: 19 minutes)
Main idea: A Christ-centered leader is built to last.
Challenge #1: Live in the gospel
When you see the wonders and beauty of the cross of Christ, when you let it wash over your heart and overwhelm your mind, then you’ll find your actions and thoughts conforming to the character of Christ
Keep drawing from the living water—the well that never runs dry—the grace of Jesus Christ
Challenge #2: Pass on the gospel
A public witness
A Christ-centered leader has a public faith
Intentionally invest your life in others with time, energy, resources
Get serious about passing on what you’ve been given
Invest in the right people
Paul calls us to invest in those who are 1) faithful now, and 2) will be able to teach others later
Challenge #3: Endure for the gospel
A dedicated soldier
We are not simply participants in a religion but soldiers in a battle
A disciplined athlete
It takes discipline—and lots of it—to follow Jesus
A hard-working farmer
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 ESV)
Challenge #4: Remember the hero of the gospel
You are not the hero of the gospel—Jesus is
“When your tank is empty, remember that the tomb is empty” —Tony Merida