A vast majority of programs and ministries make their way into churches, many of them clever and creative which is a testament to the ingenuity to church leaders. But what sort of life lived will have the Lord’s approval? I left this discussion asking the question, what sort of ministry pattern did Paul leave for Timothy to follow? Paul outlines the simplicity of this pattern here in 2 Timothy 2:2.
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witness, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
For fear of the element of becoming too familiar with this passage without seeing its application, allow me explain it further. These are the last words of importance from Paul to Timothy. Consider their relationship as either father-son or has mentor-disciple bond they share. Timothy owes what he knows about the ministry to Paul, and Paul finds in Timothy what can make an imprisoned man soon to die satisfied with his life of service in the Gospel. The last words to Timothy is undoubtably a rehearsal of what Paul has taught him his whole life, disciple men. This is what Paul had done in Timothy’s and other men’s lives, and it is to be the pattern the rest of Christian world after Timothy should follow.
That pattern was detailed in the Book of Acts as Paul used his life as greatest tool in obeying the Gospel, he trained men “not with wisdom of words” with his life that has been changed by the power of the Gospel. Obedience to the Gospel goes beyond what we know to take place at the normal missions conference. While the church can very well collectively support the ministries of their pastor and missionaries, the pattern outlined is life on life, your life on someone else’s life. Imagine the strength of the church if all were faithful to this commission that is the Gospel. In order to make disciples, the disciple must first be discipled, trained, and committed to the training of their own spiritual sons and daughters. It isn’t easy work, nor is it a short process, but perhaps that is why the Lord gave us a lifetime to do it. This ministry pattern is what the Lord spoke before His ascension as the supreme mission of His men to perform and later also revealed to Paul who demonstrated it so well.
Applying Paul’s pattern to our question, what kind of life lived for the Lord will be approved? The kind that endeavors to make disciples. If your currently using your money, singing ability, family devotions, talents or possessions to serve the Lord that is fantastic, but don’t miss doing the main thing, using your life to make disciples. A final post on this will sum up Paul’s final word to Timothy about disciple making.