Rick Warren on How to Grow and Serve Effectively According to Timothy and Paul

As leaders we cannot successfully walk through ministry alone. We must be connected to people who are ahead of us in the journey, people who are right behind us, and people who are walking alongside us.

How to Grow and Serve Effectively According to Timothy and Paul

Paul described this kind of multigenerational mentoring relationship in 2 Timothy 2:2: “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others” (NLT).

Paul and Timothy modeled three kinds of relationships all Christian leaders need in order to grow and serve effectively. Their relationship showed us that:

1. We need a spiritual father.

Paul calls Timothy “my true son in the faith” in 1 Timothy 1:2 (NLT). We first meet Timothy in Acts 16 when Paul is heading out on his second missionary journey. He stops in Lystra to pick up the young disciple who accompanies him, assists him, and serves as a sort of apprentice under him. Paul becomes a spiritual father to Timothy.

My heart hurts as I see the number of young pastors and leaders who are enthusiastically serving with big dreams but lack spiritual fathers. I’ve been fortunate: I’ve had many spiritual fathers in my life—from my biological father to other Christian leaders who have taken me under their wings. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

I believe we can learn and be mentored from people who died long ago. For example, I recommend that at least 25 percent of a church leader’s reading be spent in pre-Reformation era writings and another 25 percent from the Reformation to the modern missionary age. Another 25 percent of our reading should be drawn from the generation just previous to ours, and only the remaining 25 percent should come from contemporary authors. We need to hear from voices that have gone on before us. Those voices connect us to centuries of church history. We must always be learning from our past.

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Source: Church Leaders