“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses” is the next important phrase of this multiplying principle. How could Paul say this? If we turn to Acts 16:3, we find that “Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him” as he went on, guided by the Spirit, to the district of Macedonia which included Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, Antioch and Ephesus. Imagine the volume of preaching and teaching Timothy would have heard as Paul went from place to place. In the same sense, consider the number of witnesses along the way who saw Timothy learning and maturing under such influence. It’s no wonder Paul felt confident in sending Timothy to Corinth (1 Corinthians 4:17). He became faithful in learning and putting into practice, not only the teaching, but Paul’s manner of life (2 Timothy 3:10-11).
As we examine these facts that were part of Paul’s method of multiplying the work of God, we are forced to answer some heart-searching questions:
1. Is our preaching, teaching and influence worthy of being used by God to mature others and form their life and ministry in biblical principles?
2. Do we have Timothy’s in our life and ministry that we are intentionally developing? If not, why not?
3. How quickly will we be able to release them, confident of the Spirit’s work in and through them? (See Acts 9:18-20).
4. Are we encouraging the church to encourage younger leaders to accept their call to preach and teach?
5. What artificial requirements do we place on younger leaders that are not biblical?
These are challenging questions, but if we allow Paul’s model to form our thinking, we will see exponential growth and multiplication.
I encourage you to look carefully at Chapter 4 of our training manual.
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