Letters #11 Study
1 TIMOTHY: “Stay…Lead!”
Paul’s spiritual son, Timothy, has been assigned to lead the church in Ephesus for a time. This was an important church, key to the gospel’s proclamation throughout the region of Asia. So it is not surprising that it needed godly leaders and wise shepherding. Yet Timothy, perhaps introverted by nature, is struggling with some (externally) who strongly undermine the gospel, as well as with others (internally) who were demanding and divisive. Paul’s coaching in this 1st letter was directed both at encouraging Timothy and guiding the church he served.
Explore your “church experience” with one another. In the churches you’ve grown up in and/or attended, what major challenges have you seen a church face (for example, a struggle with worship style, or choosing unqualified leaders)? What’s been your experience? And what issues do you see Bible-believing churches facing today (e.g., gender and sexuality)?
- What must good church leaders do to protect and guide the health of a church?
Let’s Explore in the WORD
Listed below are three issues which needed Timothy’s good shepherding and leading. As you have time, explore AT LEAST ONE of these, using the provided questions:
1 Timothy 1:3-17—Feeding on “good doctrine”
- What problem was Timothy facing? How would you describe it?
- What was causing people to “wander away” into harmful issues and discussions
- What leadership did Paul ask Timothy to exercise?
- In connection with this, why do you think Paul speaks of his own conversion and God’s grace?
1 Timothy 3:1-16—Needed: Good Leaders for God’s Household
- What’s the basic requirement for a good leader in the church (3:1)? What do you think the term “overseer” indicates about the kind of leadership a church needs?
- Do you think the qualifications for an overseer are “prescriptive” (qualities one should aim, though not fully possessing) or are they “descriptive” (qualities one possesses and lives, being mature)? How important is it for overseers to be fully qualified?
- Which qualities do you find most important in this list? (cf. see Titus 1:3-7 for a similar list)
- Do you agree with or would you modify this statement: A church ‘s health rises or falls on the quality of its overseeing leaders.
1 Timothy 4:6-16—Timothy the pastor
- What are the things which Paul urges Timothy to be personally very careful about in his life? What stands out to you as very critical?
- How important to the life of a spiritual leader is “training”? What training or development does Paul call for in his spiritual son’s life?
- How does one overcome being dismissed because of being young?
- How important is growth as a leader? How does Paul indicate this? What can happen if a church’s pastor is not careful to grow and develop?
- What is at stake when it comes to the personal integrity of a pastoral leader?
Let’s Prioritize APPLICATION
In the middle of this important letter, Paul calls “the church of the living God”= a pillar and buttress of the truth. Think for a few closing minutes on the TRUTHS which a good local church has built into your life, through its teaching and discipling ministry.
- What are the truths that Jesus’ Church uniquely stands for and guards?
- How important are these truths in your life?
FINISH…by praying for Christ Community Church as we enter the 2020–21 ministry season. Thank you!