Leadership Lessons: How Did Paul Disciple Leaders?

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. (2 Tim. 3:10-11)

This is a key discipline verse. It teases apart how the older leader, Paul, nurtured and trained the younger leader Timothy:

1. He taught him. He passed on the good deposit of the gospel. He passed on true doctrine, right understanding, laying a firm foundations for everything else. This is absolutely critical in the discipline of leaders. As we see with Paul and Timothy, it wasn't all Paul did, but it was foundational. My mistake is often to make this everything - to la the foundation of biblical teaching but then let it go at that and never build anything on top of it. Paul won't let us settle for that. Disciplining is more than simply teaching the Bible. However, it is never, ever less

2. Paul goes on – my way of life. He has let Tim get close enough to him that he can see and experience the life-difference that the foundational teaching makes. Similarly he tells the church in Thessalonica that he wants to shars not only the gospel of God but his life as well. There is no clergy/laity professional divide that let’s us get away with sharing the gospel but not our lives. He is living out the message. That is what Tim is invited into - he got a big slice of Paul's life

3. My purpose. He has taught Tim what he is trying to achieve, what his goals are and has passed them on to him as well. Leaders are meant to lead towards achieving certain things for the Lord - especially the releasing of all the believers to be disciple-making disciples

4. My faith. He has shown Tim how he is growing in the faith, how he is living out of faith. It is faith that allows him and us to take risks as leaders. One of the main reasons people don’t raise up new leaders is fear of the risk. You will never raise up new leaders while you are determined to play it safe yourself, or if you think the emotional consequences of trying new things will be so debilitating that you simply don’t have the capacity. If you feel that lack level of undercapitalisation then you need to seriously review your patterns of life and ministry because you have been ambushed by demands that are leading you to a life-time of fear and fruitlessness

5. My patience and love. He is showing Tim how he deals with people gently. How he handles it when not everything he is praying about comes to pass. How to love people who drive you nuts

6. My endurance, persecutions and sufferings in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra. He has taken Tim with him. He has taught him, but he has also apprenticed him and immersed him in what he is doing. This is risky but essential. All good discipling includes teaching, apprenticing and immersion. Of course it assumes we are actually doing things for the Lord which we can show and include others in. Maybe much discipleship fails to happen because we aren't