Terry Baxter Devotional

The Family Model for Ministry: 1 Timothy 5:1-2

The Family Model for Ministry: 1 Timothy 5:1-2
“1) Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, and to the younger men as brothers, 2) to the older women as mothers, and to the younger women as sisters, in all purity.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭5:1-2‬ ‭
There seems to be four corner stones to effective ministry. So far Paul has talked about good character, effective praying and solid biblical teaching and preaching. But there is a forth that is often overlooked. An effective leader must also develop positive people skills.
Ministry by nature is highly relational. It’s about meeting the needs of people and encouraging them in their walk with God. In these two verses Paul instructs Timothy on developing positive people skills in four key relationships. Keep in mind, Timothy was a young single man. He had to earn credibility while guarding his purity.
First, he wanted him to show respect to older men. He was to address them appropriately as a father and avoid rebukes. Respectful words are important.
Second, he was to treat younger men as brothers. He was to form brotherly relational connections with them.
Third, he was treat older women as mothers. Again, we see a relationship of respect with positive affinity. Kind words are important.
Finally, he was to treat younger women as sisters in all purity. He was to protect emotional and moral boundaries in such a way as to avoid temptations.
When these two verses are views as a whole they paint a family portrait. The New Testament talks much about the family of God.
As society breaks down, God intends for the local church to become family for many people. It should provide both spiritual and emotional support for people. A strong family like bond should develop between people within the church.
This family relational model was Pauls personal approach to ministry. If you doubt his family approach to ministry, review 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 for a few minutes. He bonded to people under his care like a mother to her new born baby and a father to his beloved children.
Let me emphasize what Paul was saying in these verses. People need love, acceptance, affirmation, encouragement and direction. They need to be nurtured and not merely instructed. People need relational connection. This is the place where maximum growth and ministry takes place.
Value the family bonds that can form within a local church. Learn to be relational. Don’t be afraid to connect with people. There are risks but also huge rewards. God did not create us to be Lone Rangers.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global