My first volunteering at church in a leadership capacity was when I was in college. It was not the church I grew up in and fairly large so a different environment than I was accustomed. I helped the youth group and started by being one of the two announcement guys.
It fit well with my personality.
Doing this led to me leading a small group, which while eager to do so, I didn’t feel ready in many ways. Not because I hadn’t prepared, but because I didn’t know if I was ready to teach someone else.
The first lesson was good but I was shaky.
The second one was still rocky but a bit better.
The third took a step backward from there.
The fourth and following ones got a bit better each time.
Eventually, I was confident and really connecting with some of the middle schoolers in the group.
Part of what helped give me confidence though, was that I felt I had personally worked through many of the topics I’d teach.
So, the question for you taking on a Timothy is natural.
“How can I mentor someone else about pornography & lust, when I struggle with it myself?”
Good question! Here are some guidelines:
- You need to be 6 months with consistent living off the continuum of lust before you start mentoring a Timothy on this topic.
- That marker translates to roughly a 7+ on a 1-10 scale *most all* weeks for 6 months.
- The goal here is not that you’re perfect, but you do need to have consistent command over this area of your life before you start teaching someone else on this topic. Again, consult your Paul.
- Regardless of your frequency of living off the continuum of lust, you are still commanded by God to share your faith. That means there will be people in your life who need to hear about God, and you need to tell them. This doesn’t need to be full-blown mentoring, but it is appropriate for you to talk about what Jesus has done, and is doing, in your life.
- As you assess yourself for readiness to take on a Timothy, don’t confuse salvation for sanctification. Salvation happens in a moment when we accept Christ. Sanctification is the ongoing work the Holy Spirit does for the rest of our lives, making us more like Jesus. In other words, if you’re waiting to ‘have it all together’ before you mentor someone, you’ll never mentor someone.
Today I want you to reread the story of Philip and the Ethiopian. I want you to notice where the Ethiopian had been just prior to his conversation with Philip.
Right now, God is calling you to be Philip to someone.
God is preparing a Timothy for you to mentor & guide.
Pray for this process.
Pray for God to bring people to your attention.
Pray for God to guide your words and actions when you’re around that person.
And pray for God to give you the courage you need to enter that Timothy’s story.
Thoughts to Pray/Journal:
- Are you ready for a Timothy? Why or why not . . . and if not, what do you need to get ready? Taking on a Timothy is a requirement, not optional, for you to live a life free from pornography & lust – it’s a vital part of the program.
- What significance does it have that the Ethiopian had been to church yet not encountered God prior to his interaction with Philip? What parallels do you see with today’s world?