1 Timothy 1:1-20, John 16:33

Zara Gandon on the need for mentors and perseverance.

Zara Gandon
Zara Gandon

It is said that every one of us will influence at least 10,000 people in our lives.

If leadership is influence and we all influence that many people then we are all leaders, although how we exercise our leadership is very different.

Jesus was an incredible leader. He did nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. He came to serve and to seek and save that which was lost. As Christians, as followers of Jesus, we are aiming to be become more like Him. To become more like Jesus, is to become a leader.

Timothy is a young guy mentored by Paul who we can also learn a lot from.

Here are three things we can learn from 1 Timothy 1:1-20 about leadership:

1) Get a mentor

Paul mentored Timothy and Jesus mentored the disciples. Mentoring is all over the Bible. It is so helpful to have people a little further on the journey to guide you on your way. Podcasts and books are great, but we need people who know us to speak into our lives and help us be the godliest leaders possible.

2) Leadership can be tough, but don't quit

Paul urges Timothy, to stay in Macedonia and stop people from teaching false doctrines.

The second point is don't quit. Perseverance is vital to life and leadership. There are hundreds of stories in the Bible of people nearly quitting and God telling them to stay, or sometimes God staying silent in those moments. As the saying goes, "Don't doubt in the dark what you heard in the light." Or more importantly as the Bible says in John 16:33, "For in this world, you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world."

Life is not the American dream. Because of our fallen world, life is tough, sometimes horrendously tough. If God has called us to do something, if He has provided something for us, just because it is not going amazingly, doesn't mean God didn't call you to do it.

3) Don't shy away from dealing with difficult problems

Urgh, what fun! Timothy was urged to deal with those in Ephesus, who were trying to make the good news of Jesus about other things.

We see this in the Church today; people predicting the exact time and date that Jesus will return, even though the Bible makes it clear, that no-one knows when Jesus is coming back.

As leaders, our job is to keep the teachings of Jesus central and not add or subtract from them.

So often, as leaders we procrastinate, we hide and hope the problem will just disappear. If you think Jesus was conflict avoidant, read the gospels. He steps up and deals with difficult issues.

Yes, when we do it, we need to be sure we do it from a place of love. But if you think loving someone always means letting an issue go, then you've got it wrong, because that would mean Jesus would never have dealt with difficult issues, because Jesus is love Himself.

Leadership is a privilege and an honour. Get people around you to help; stick in out and deal with the difficult things.

Ultimately cling to Jesus and He will guide you and He will never let you down. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.