Our Time Is Valuable.
The life of a leader is packed with challenges. Thankfully, with challenges come opportunities! And the more the Lord blesses our leadership, the more opportunities seem to arise.
As the opportunities stack up, it can be difficult to know what to accept and what to decline. Then there’s that opportunity that we really want to accept. We yearn to go and complete that project, fulfil that mission.
Alas, for whatever reason, our circumstances prevent us. We can’t accept it. We can’t go. If only we could send someone in our place?
Paul Faced This Challenge
In Philippians 2, we read about Paul’s yearning to return to the church in Philippi. Unfortunately, He can’t go because of his house arrest in Rome.
Thankfully, he had spent many years investing in a young man by the name of Timothy. Paul’s investment in the next generation provided a worthy replacement, to send back to Philippi and continue the Gospel work.
Here’s what Paul wrote to the church:
“19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.” (Phil. 2:19-24)
Why Send Timothy?
The obvious questions are, “Why did Paul choose to send Timothy? What makes him the best replacement?”
There’s actually 3 qualities that Timothy held that made him a great replacement for the Philippian mission. And they’re all found in the above passage.
1. Timothy Communicates
In verse 19 we read, “I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon…that I too may be cheered by news of you.”
This perhaps is a little nuanced, but there’s an assumption in Paul’s statement. Paul doesn’t skip a beat in assuming that if he sends Timothy, he’ll be getting a report back on what’s happening in Philippi.
This is key to sending a replacement for that project or task. Can you assume that the candidate will report back what took place?
2. Timothy Cares
In verse 20 we read, “…I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”
Unlike our first quality, Paul speaks plainly. There is no one else that Paul can think of who genuinely cares for the Philippian church. He has a heart for them. He’s deeply invested in these people.
We need to think about this when we send a replacement to an opportunity. Is our replacement genuinely concerned for the welfare of the project and the people?
3. Timothy Can
Verse 22 and 23 states, “…you know Timothy’s proven worth…he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him…”
Paul reminds the Philippian church that Timothy’s got the right stuff to get the job done. He reminds them of Timothy’s proven worth; his gifting and his experience. Abilities that the church would have been witness to in the past.
Before we send out our replacement, we need to be confident that they have the tangible abilities to complete the project. Does our replacement have proven worth? If they’re lacking, what can we do right now to train them up?
Don’t Jump To #3
As leaders, there’s a temptation to jump to number 3, “Can they do the job?”
We default and forget about the first 2 qualities. We get so focused on the “can” that we start working backwards into the “care” and finally the “communicate“. This is a tragic mistake that far too many leaders make.
Always remember that training a replacement in the “can” is way easier than training them to “communicate” or training them to “care“.
Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
Is there an opportunity or project that you need to delegate to someone else? How will you choose your replacement?