“The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2nd Timothy 2:2).
One key to growing in our walk with God is to learn from each experience we have.
Paul didn’t want to take Mark on the second missionary journey because he deserted them on the first trip. Barnabas wanted to give him another chance. He saw potential in him. He felt this strongly enough that he chose to take Mark under his mentoring care to Cyprus. Paul chose Silas to join him in following up the churches planted on their first trip.
Though they had this blow up and separation Paul respected Barnabas. Soon he reconsidered the wisdom of reproducing yourself in the work to which God calls you.
Not everyone is ready for the demanding work of opening up un-reached territory for Christ, but new recruits need to start somewhere. They didn’t have training bases yet, so the options for discipling new recruits were limited.
After Silas, a seasoned servant of God joined Paul they started their work in Derby and then went on to Lystra. There they found a young man who came to Christ on Paul’s first trip. He had grown and matured in the faith and was highly thought of by the brethren there. Paul also saw his potential and recruited him to join the team.
Soon they were visiting the other churches that had been planted. In checking the record it appears Paul nurtured Timothy for leadership but at a pace Timothy could take. At first he merely observed. Then he probably was given opportunity to share his testimony. Soon he began to share in the teaching (1st Thessalonians 3:2). As need arose he was sent on assignments alone (Philippians 2:19-22). Barnabas’s spirit and strategy is evident in Paul’s mentoring of Timothy – a lesson well learned by Paul.
“What lesson have you learned from others or through experiences of the past?”