Presentation on theme: "Sheep Wander Off…One Nibble At A Time 2 Timothy 1: 1-14"— Presentation transcript:
1Sheep Wander Off…One Nibble At A Time 2 Timothy 1: 1-14 Why Church?Sheep Wander Off…One Nibble At A Time2 Timothy 1: 1-14
2Why Do We Do Church? Mentoring Third in a series:
3Why Church? Reason 1: Community Why Church? Reason 2: Real People Sheep wander off…One Nibble At A Time REAL PEOPLEWhy Church? Reason 1: CommunityWhy Church? Reason 2: Real PeopleWhy Church? Reason 3: Money MattersWhy Church? Reason 4: Mentors
4MentoringEvery congregation has two things — a pastor and an opinion about the pastor. While pastor may be the most visible spiritual mentor, the church is actually filled with them.How do you and I mentor others and why? Let’s take a look briefly at pastors, but mostly at all of us:People analyze their pastors. They love them, tolerate them or flat out don’t like them. Other than the starting quarterback of the local football team, is there another role that gets as much armchair scrutiny as the pastor?insert here a parable that’s been around awhile -- There was a man who never seemed willing to wake up for church. His wife tried and tried every week, but he refused to get up. She said, “Honey, come on. You’re going to be late for church.” “I don’t care — I don’t want to go,” he mumbled. “We go through this every Sunday .... Why don’t you want to go?” “Because I don’t like those people, and I don’t like the pastor.” She replied, “Honey, get out of bed and get dressed. You are the pastor!” Frankly, if you don’t like the pastor, get in line. There are days when some pastors don’t even like themselves. Joking aside, the reason there’s such admiration or dislike for some pastors/leaders is that leadership and mentoring are important to us.
5Mentoring Connected to the people Spiritual leadership that people need is:InteractiveRelationalCaringEmotive.Paul was a leader and a shepherd who walked the talk. In 2 Timothy 1, he’s encouraging Timothy to be a leader. In doing so, Paul is also offering us several insights concerning the nature of effective mentoring [otherwise known as leadership]. Connected to the people (vv. 3-4) Look at the picture of Paul in these verses. Praying for Timothy. Remembering shared experiences. Longing to see him. Having a relationship where he’s deeply impacted by the younger man he serves.Spiritual leadership that people need is:InteractiveRelationalCaringEmotive.If we scour the New Testament for pastoral references, two dominant images emerge: the shepherd and the servant. These images stand out more than the teacher and more than the leader. The direct object of shepherding and serving is always the people with whom we’re connected. Pastors will always face the challenge of attending to the urgent over the important. Spiritual leadership means remembering that people, not programs, are the most important agenda in the church. Hopefully somehow I am able to convey that.But am I the only Christian in the building who has the gift/responsibility to share life (spiritual life & impact) with others? NO.
6Mentoring Inspiring life change Modeling kingdom living Inspiring life change (vv. 6-8, 13-14) What’s more likely to produce transformation in most people — information or inspiration? Most of us would look back and say inspiration trumped information in fostering our own growth. That’s what Paul is about here. Sure, he’s instructing Timothy — but he’s calling to his heart. He’s hoping to reignite his soul. For all the importance of our preaching or knowledge or personal agendas, it isn’t knowledge or talk that brings transformation as much as life & spiritual effectiveness. Does this stuff actually work? And how? Will I be able to become something different? And why should I? In an NBC radio interview way back in 1972, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel offered some advice that still speaks to us almost 40 years later:“Let them remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity. Let them be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power and that we can do — every one — our share to redeem the world in spite of all absurdities and all frustrations and all disappointments. And above all, remember that the meaning of life is to live life as it if were a work of art.” People are, in effect, living works of art, and they need to be inspired as artists in how their lives are being painted. Paul switches to the first person here. “Follow me as I follow Christ,” he’s saying. He isn’t just teaching about the Christian life; he models it. Puts flesh on it. Puts his feet and hands where his words have gone. Maybe this is the most important and riskiest aspect of the spiritual leadership our people crave. They need the apologetic of experience. Leaders who walk their talk. Models of what the kingdom is supposed to look like in the same way the disciples had Jesus and Timothy had Paul. But it’s risky because we are all simply vulnerable human beings. We can, and likely will, disappoint others. We fall, and fail. The point is to relate and to model. People can all give their own lists of vocational hardships, whether they’re moms, teachers, janitors, CEOs or the unemployed. Show them how a holistic, honest, biblical worldview informs the way you approach the difficulties of life, faith and career.For pastors, in times gone by, a pastor’s authority was a cultural given. Being a pastor was a position of reverence held in esteem. It was a role that held sway with the faithful and the less-faithful alike. But in an increasingly post-Christian culture, pastoral authority is more earned than assumed [which seems to be the way it should be and was in NT times]. The spiritual leadership people desire from you and I, is authentic, vulnerable, imperfect and accessible.
7Mentoring Fed Pelicans Fed Pelicans Forgot How To Fish For many years Monterey, a California coast town, was a pelican's paradise. As the fisherman cleaned their fish, they flung the offal to the pelicans. The birds grew fat, lazy and contented. Eventually, however, the offal was utilized, and there were no longer snacks for the pelicans.When the change came the pelicans made no effort to fish for themselves. They waited around, grew gaunt and thin. Many starved to death. They had forgotten how to fish for themselves.The problem was solved by importing new pelicans from the south, birds accustomed to foraging for themselves. They were placed among their starving cousins, and the newcomers immediately started catching fish. Before long, the hungry pelicans followed suit, and the famine was ended.You never know when you will be “imported” into someone’s life to feed them. We all are influencers one way or the other. To feed or influence someone you must be fed yourself; spiritual food in you will produce health in others! —Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations