I'm starting to write a study of 1 Timothy and how to do ministry in team and handle conflict. I've just begun to put some thoughts down...this is post is mostly for me to see what I've written...sorry if I've bored anyone.
I Timothy Study
So Timothy is a young man—a “son in the faith” to Paul- but Paul clearly states that he left Timothy in Ephesus to
“command men not to teach false doctrine any longer”
A statement that infers that these “men” have been at this teaching a long time and that they are significantly older and more established than this “son of faith” He is not only young but new to the appointment as Paul has now left and Timothy is now alone. The next line “these promote controversies instead of faith” Yeah! Conflict, this church in Ephesus is a church in conflict…endless conflict. Let’s look back at Ephesians to get a picture of what the church was like.
Eph 1:15 they have sincere faith in the Lord, which has caught Paul’s eye. But Paul right off the bat asks God to give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, to be enlightened and asks for them to know about God’s “great power,” power so great it raised Jesus from the dead. That’s a lot of power….it’s not a trowel, a shovel…it’s a earth mover. Later on in the book, Paul prays that the Ephesians would have (17) Christ may dewell in your hearts through faith…that they will be rooted and established in love to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. This is the book of the Bible where we get this powerful and well known verse, “20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurabley more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” a great verse…but truly what was happening in Ephesus?
The next chapter goes on to talk about “Unity in the body.” 25…put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all one body. The whole book deserves a read…this is a church full of controversy and anger and malicious talk. It is a church body that is limping and falling and turning on itself. A church that needs to learn how to speak to eachother, how to love each other, how to submit to each other and how to “stand firm” against the devils schemes together.
Back to Timothy…My heart goes out to Timothy—he has been placed squarly in the established and well worn lion’s den. You have to picture this poor “man-child” and see what he must have been thinking about his present calling.
“Really? This is what ministry is suppose to be? This is not what I signed up for! Who am I that I should have anything to say to the ‘leaders’ of this church…who have been at this for so long…and yet are so obviously wrong!
And why me? Am I the only one who ‘sees’ this? Paul was here and he couldn’t teach them…what do you think I can do about it Lord? “