The following post is by Pastor Ethan Hansen, one of our Main Session speakers for our 2017 Annual Conference, registration and more information for the conference can be found here.
A Sacred Trust!
The apostle Paul spent a tremendous amount of time serving the church of Ephesus. Paul founded the church. He ministered there for three years teaching God’s Word day and night from house to house. Six years later he wrote the Book of Ephesians to the church of Ephesus during his first Roman imprisonment. After his release from prison, Paul returned to Ephesus with Timothy. Later, he appointed Timothy to pastor the church. 1 and 2 Timothy are written to Timothy while pastoring the church of Ephesus. Tradition says that the apostle John along with Mary, the mother of Jesus, served the church of Ephesus. Ephesus was a very important church in the first century. Ephesus was one of the great churches in the first century.
Great churches are comprised of great leaders. In 1 and 2 Timothy the apostle Paul passed down the secrets of effective ministry. What does it mean to be a godly spiritual leader? How does God define success in ministry? What is God’s job description for a spiritual leader? The answers are found in the pastoral epistles. Paul made an amazing statement to Timothy. In 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul said that the church is “the pillar and support of the truth.” As spiritual leaders we have a stewardship with the truth. Paul used two architectural images for the church. The church is the pillar and support of the truth.
Many passages detail the stewardship we have with the truth. Perhaps the most important of them is Paul’s second letter to Timothy. Paul wrote from a Roman prison cell. This time, he would not leave alive. He wrote shortly before his death. Paul died in the year 67 AD. This was the last inspired letter Paul ever wrote.
Paul knew that Timothy needed encouragement. Paul- Timothy’s mentor and father in the faith- was facing death. Timothy was facing great difficulties in Ephesus. Timothy had lost some of his heart for ministry. He had lost some of his initial enthusiasm. Some of the energy that marked his early years was gone.
In 2 Timothy 1 Paul detailed four clear directives for effective ministry. Without understanding and applying these four very specific duties we cannot be effective servants of the Lord Jesus. The goal of this session is to refresh and refocus. It is to sharpen our focus in ministry. Come and learn these four clear directives Paul spells out. It will be a great time together!