Being Mission-ReadyApril 2, 2012
When people say good things about us, especially people we respect, their words tend to stick with us forever. These positive verbal images become part of how we view ourselves. Imagine how Timothy felt when his mentor, Paul, wrote to a church about him. Timothy was just a young leader when Paul stuck a "letter of recommendation" for him right into the middle of what he was writing to the church in Philippi. He wrote:
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon... I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. (Philippians 2:19-22)
Paul wrote to let this church know that Timothy was now mission-ready, fully equipped to be launched out on the assignment Paul had for him.
Wouldn't you want something like that written about you? If you're like me, you want others to see things about you that indicate you're mission-ready, prepared for whatever God may have for you to do.
Check out the things Paul noticed about Timothy's life that showed he was ready for mission:
- He loved people. Timothy showed a "genuine concern" for others -- something Jesus said (http://www NULL.biblegateway NULL.com/passage/?search=John+13:35&version=NIV) is a mark of a true disciple. We can never truly be ready for mission if we're living for ourselves. God's mission is always about others!
- He understood ministry. Timothy hadn't just taken classes in ministry or watched others do it, he had served with Paul in the work of the gospel. Because he'd been mentored in ministry then released to do it, he now deeply grasped what ministering to others was really about.
- He was proven. When Paul said that "Timothy has proved himself", he was saying a lot. Reading through the New Testament, we discover that Timothy not only traveled and ministered widely with Paul but that he'd also been imprisoned (http://www NULL.biblegateway NULL.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%2013:23&version=NIV) for his faith. That which has not been tested has not been proven -- and to truly be ready for mission requires that we've gone through testing (http://www NULL.biblegateway NULL.com/passage/?search=James%201:2-4&version=NIV) and grown in maturity as a result.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)God may intend to send you to serve impoverished orphans or to become a Wall Street banker. Maybe both! He may send you to start new churches or write new software. But no matter what your mission may be, you'll need the same three things that marked Timothy's life in order to be mission-ready. Loving people. Understanding ministry. Being proven. These are necessary features in the life of every Christ-follower who wants to impact their world with Jesus' grace. And they are the kinds of things that are developed in the lives of ELN students every day. Read the stories of other students who have invested time in an ELN program to become ready for God's mission -- then use the Program Finder to locate an ELN school of ministry that's just right for you. And use the comment box below to tell us about YOUR mission! This entry was posted in Articles, Featured and tagged Discipleship, ELN, Love, Mission, Mission-Ready, Timothy. Bookmark the permalink.