A tour de force through the last will and testament of an old leader to a younger one
Every once in a while there are those who question: Why such an emphasis on leadership? It is, after all, a reasonable and important question but one that is all too easy to answer. Student Leadership University has a laser-like focus on serving disciples of this generation with leadership development because the Bible places a strategic emphasis on leaders and leadership. That is not to say that leadership is the central emphasis of the Bible! Rather there are volumes that can be gleaned from the Scriptures that are relevant to the leadership journey.
One of the great examples of leadership development in Scripture is the relationship between Paul and Timothy.
There are two indisputable evidences of Pauls focus on leadership development: first, of the thirteen of letters authored by Paul, four are addressed to specific leaders, while the other nine are addressed to local churches. Second, Pauls final words were penned in a letter to a younger leader whom he had commissioned, entrusted and who would continue his influence way beyond his death. There is no doubt Paul knew his last days were ahead, and he doesnt write a letter to the largest church or the most prominent name but rather to a younger leader.
With that in mind, the next two weeks I want to discuss the leadership development perspective of Pauls last letter, 2 Timothy. In this book, there are eight exhortations or encouragements from the road-tested spiritual giant, who had run the race to young Timothy, who had most of his race yet to run:
- Be encouraged because I thank Godas I remember you (1:3-5) His encouragement consists of a single, Greek sentence in which Paul expresses: his constant gratitude which is demonstrated in his praying (v. 3), a recognition of Timothys emotions and struggles and a joyful anticipation of seeing him (v. 4) and a remembrance of Timothys faith and spiritual heritage (v. 5).
- Be reminded tostir up the gift of God that is in you (1:6) It is quite possible that Timothy lacked the presence of a strong father figure in his life and therefore needed his spiritual father/mentor to remind him that God had specifically gifted him.
- Have a Christ-centered attitudefor God gave us a spirit not of fear (1:7) His spirit or attitude towards life should not be that of fear or cowardice. An attitude of fear is the result of a sinful inward focus that is overly concerned with self and what one could potentially lose. Paul was about to lose his life yet that was not his focus. Rather, God has given young believers an attitude of power, of love, and of self-control.
- Do not be ashamed of Jesusshare in suffering for the gospel by the power of God (1:8-12) The Apostle warned Timothy not to be ashamed of Jesus Christ, the one who saved his soul, or of the great suffering that would surely come for being an obedient, passionate follower of Christ.
 Lea, T. D., & Griffin, H. P. (2001). Vol. 34: 1, 2 Timothy, Titus (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (182183). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.