1. As we begin today, I'd like to ask several of you to share about someone in you life who has been a spiritual mentor to you. . . perhaps a Sunday School teacher or pastor who has taught you how to live the Christian life.
2. Allow me to read these five verses out loud. When I am finished, I want you to tell me as many facts as you can about Timothy.
3. Let's take a peak at the context of this passage. Look at the heading in your Bible for Acts 15. What is this chapter about?(1)
4. Let's get this straight. The church has this big meeting regarding gentiles becoming Christians. The issues centered around whether Gentiles should be circumcised. It was decided by all that they should not. Why in the world do Paul and Timothy agree to circumcise Timothy?(2)
5. State, in the form of a principle, what we can learn from Paul's example here. You might say something like, "Paul's example in this passage teach us that. . ."
6. What would be a specific example, from modern life, of the application of this principle?(3)
7. Verse 5 says the church grew daily in numbers. How important is numerical growth in evaluating our success in ministry?
8. Can obedience to the Great Commission be plotted on a graph?(4)
9. Conversely, can a church be obedient to the Great Commission and it not show up on a graph.(5)
10. Let me ask two of you to read these passages. Let me ask the rest of you to listen for what you learn about the relationship between Paul and Timothy from these passages.
11. How important is it that we have close friends as Paul and Timothy were close?
12. Is it easy or difficult to cultivate and develop close friendships?
13. What are the barriers to close friendships?
14. What are the benefits to close friendships? Are the benefits worth the cost?
15. Corinthians 4:16 is an interesting verse. Can you imagine saying to someone, Imitate me." Would it ever be appropriate that we say to people, "imitate me"?(6)
16. Why was Paul sending Timothy to these two groups of people?
17. Philippians 2:21 speaks of looking out for the interest of Jesus. What specifically does this mean?
18. How would you describe Paul's relationship with Timothy, based on these verses? Give me a half dozen adjectives.
19. What does it mean to, "to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands"? (2 Timothy 1:6)
20. What does it mean that, "God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."
21. Can you be a spirit-filled Christian and be timid?
22. How do we take on a Spirit of Power on a day to day basis?
23. Would you describe yourself as more timid or more "powerful" (perhaps confident would be a good synonym).
24. Let' summarize some of the things we learn about living the Christian life from the example of Timothy. Look back over the passages we have studied as I make a list on the board.
25. What one thing would you like to imitate from life of Timothy?
1. There may be some efficiency in time in just telling your group about this. The Jerusalem conference was a meeting the early church held to settle the brew-ha about gentiles becoming Chris
2. This is a classic example of the difference between what you may do and what you should do. They did not have to have Timothy circumcised, but they knew it was strategically wise in terms of the Great Commission. This was a part of becoming all things to all men so that by possible means Paul might win some.
3. Suppose a believer had decided that it was morally defensible to have an occasional glass of wine. This same believer could also decide drinking an occasional glass of wine might not help the cause of the great commission. He might decide to limit his freedom so as to maximize the effectiveness of his witness.
4. There is more to fulfilling the Great Commission than having pretty graphs. There are places where the best of ministry will not result in pretty graphs. However, it should be the goal of every ministry to have both quality growth-- in terms of the quality of lives we are creating, and quantity growth, in terms of the number of people we are affecting.
5. There may be exceptions to this, but growth that you could plot on a graph was normal for the early church. I believe it ought to be normal for us.
6. The truth is, people will imitate us whether we ask them to or not. As people come to faith in Christ and become a part of your group, they will tend to rise to the level of the group. The group will tend to rise to the level of the spiritual maturity of the teacher (you!). This is a reality whether we declare it or not. And it is not so intimidating. If you are down the road of discipleship, a person would do well to follow you, as you follow Christ. You could probably point to people in your life that you have followed. Following a pattern is one of the best way to accomplish many things.