Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Sunday, 30 April 2017

1 Corinthians Day 113 - It Can Be Tough For Young Pastors

16:10 And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do. 11 Therefore let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren.

12 Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brethren, but he was quite unwilling to come at this time; however, he will come when he has a convenient time.

Timothy was young. He was just starting out. The Corinthian church you will remember was arguing over who of their pastor/teachers was the greatest. Timothy was not on that list. He was not part of the discussion. He was a newbie. Being new can be tough. Being new and young is even more challenging. Age demands a certain level of respect but youth does not. I am not familiar enough with ancient Greek culture to know what their attitude toward young people was. Certainly the Jewish culture was less than friendly to the "underage". I can only assume from Paul that the Greek culture was not any better and perhaps worse. When writing to Timothy, Paul advised him "Let no man despise your youth." I have always chuckled at that advice. How exactly does one do that?

When I was an intern and barely 20 years old I filled in for a church that was between pastors for a summer. They had a man attending who was difficult to deal with to put it mildly. He would come for the Bible study portion of church and had lots to say but would never stay for the sermon. It seems he felt he had lots to teach others but nothing to learn, at least not from me. One day during the study time we were discussing the different words the Greek language had for love. He went into a big explanation that I knew was less than accurate because we had just studied this in Greek class. When he was done I responded based on what I had learned. Before I could even finish he glared at me and asked "How old are you?" I made the mistake of answering the off topic and inappropriate question. His venemous response was "Well then what do you know?!?". 

Paul told Timothy not to let anyone despise his youth and he wrote to the Corinthians using the same word. "Let no one despise him."

I don't remember anyone telling that man he was out of line for what he said to me. Note that Paul didn't say "Don't despise him." He said "Let no one despise him." We have a responsibility to support and protect each other, especially the more vulnerable. 

To finish the story I had no idea what to say to or how to deal with this person. He was getting increasingly disruptive and kindness and patience were not working. So one day during the week I went in and sat in the spot where he always sat. I prayed. I said something like "God I know you love him. I know you know all about him. If he is supposed to be here and there is something we need to learn from him or something we can do to help him then please help us to see what it is. But if he is not supposed to be here please don't ever let him come again because we have no idea how to handle him."

The man had never missed a week that summer but after that short talk with God I never saw him again. People can tell me there is no Good and sometimes they do. They can say that him not returning was a coincidence and some would. If it was a coincidence I can tell you I have experienced an unusual amount of 'coincidences' in my life. 

The bottom line is that while many churches are clamoring for the Apollos pastors there are some fine young pastors on the way up. Give them a chance. Let no one despise their youth. I believe it was God's will that Apollos didn't come so that Timothy had some time and space to demonstrate the gifts God had given him. 

If you are older make it a priority to support and make room for the gifts of a young person in your sphere of influence.

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