What we already know:
• Author: Paul
• Receiver: Timothy
• Timothy’s profession: A pastor in Ephesus
• Paul is writing towards the end of his own life
• Timothy was converted during Paul’s first missionary journey
• Paul LOVES Timothy! He calls him his “true son”!
Mentoring- A Fancy Word For Discipleship
What you may or may not know is that my profession is mentoring youth. Not only do I work at NCC doing local missions, but I am also a full-time mentor to seven young women in Anacostia, DC. I started mentoring through an organization called The Southeast White House about seven years ago.
When I read texts like 1Timothy I see mentoring leaping off the pages. Paul was Timothy’s mentor.
Timothy was molded by Paul and was now molding others as a pastor at a church in Ephesus.
This model is the true model of discipleship! This is what Jesus did when he chose his twelve disciples. We are chosen to be mentored by someone (or we seek after someone to mentor us) and then we use what we have learned to mentor others.
We can pull from 1Timothy 1-2 some key pieces of mentoring.
Paul starts off by encouraging Timothy. Encouragement is my favorite thing to do with my mentees. It is so important to tell those you are mentoring how much you love them and appreciate them.
Paul then goes on to point out some lessons about false teaching, theology, love, the law, Jesus’ purpose in our lives, praying for authority, and the role of men and women in the church (a very tricky passage that can be explained differently based on what commentary you may read). This is probably not the first time Timothy has heard any of the things Paul is saying to him. However, to continually remind those we are mentoring of what is important, what is truth and how to deal with various situations is crucial.
Paul then continues on with his conversion story. He is humbling himself to Timothy. Yet again, I am sure this is not the first time Paul has told Timothy what a horrible sinner he was, but he is using it as a demonstration to humble himself and exalt Jesus. It is necessary to explain to those we are mentoring how imperfect we are. We want them to strive to be humble and seek after the Lord, not strive to be falsely-perfect.
I think that everyone in the world should have a mentor and that everyone should mentor AT LEAST one other person.
Who is your mentor?
Who are you mentoring?