Dear Church Family and Friends,
Today I will be sharing with you how you can keep your SHAPE (spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, experiences) in shape. Your spiritual shape workout functions best when you have three kinds of relationships with people.
- You need someone to mentor you in the Christian faith, and in the ministry to which you are called.
- You need some friends with which to do ministry together, as you were shaped to do.
- You need someone that you can mention in the Christian faith, and in the ministry to which you are called.
Let’s examine the need for these three relationships through the life of a young pastor named Timothy (2 Timothy 2:1-13).
- Timothy’s mentor was the apostle Paul. Paul wrote two letters to Timothy that were inspired by the Holy Spirit and preserved in the canon of Scripture. From these leters, we know that Paul viewed Timothy like a son. He exhorted him as a father speaks to a son, “You, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). We need mentors in our lives to give us godly wisdom and advice. These mentors need to be people with more experience in ministry than we have.
- Timothy served alongside other believers. Timothy worked side-by-side with the church members he pastored. In Paul’s earlier letter, the Holy Spirit gave him instructions on the selection of fellow workers such as elders and deacons.
- Timothy was told by his mentor to find some men to mentor. “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). Christians of all ages need to be training and equipping people for ministry. In whatever ministry you are currently serving, you should be preparing your successor. It might be weeks, or it might be years before they follow in your footsteps, but you need to start training people to do what you do now. Even if you do not step down for a long time, it is more fun to serve in a ministry with someone else.
May God bless you as you build your relationships in Christ.