By Rod Shimabukuro
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, – To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. – 2 Timothy 1:1-2
Using our series theme, Paul opens his 2nd letter to Timothy having been marked as an apostle of Jesus by God’s will. He was marked according to the promise of life in Christ, that he passed down to his spiritual child Timothy.
Being marked by the Gospel – the good news of God the Father’s, Jesus and the Spirit’s promise to give life – Paul makes a mark on Timothy’s life, adopting him as a spiritual son.
I’d rather be a son, than a servant. The Bible speaks to both roles in relationship to God and His family. But Gospel intimacy, relationship seems to me, to be marked by investing in “sons and daughters” of God.
The contrast is that as a pastors and spiritual leaders, we can tend adopt and make “volunteers, leaders” treating people as servants rather than sons. Yes we are all servants of Christ who are called to use our gifts for God.
But I’m convicted to check my heart – to have the heart, motives and mindset of adopting spiritual children. Spiritual parents tend to take more ownership of their children, than they do of their “servants.”
- Intimacy becomes the priority over involvement.
- Relationship over roles.
- People over programs.
- Discipleship over duties.
O God! May I pastor sons and daughters more than project manage people. Teach me, grant me wisdom to develop great leadership skills to employ the body of Christ for Your purposes at NH Manoa.
But please, please help me to steer away from treating people “just as servants or volunteers.” Help me, convict me, use me… to shepherd Your sons and daughters, with Your heart and ways.