Thoughts on Leadership From the Life of Timothy

Leadership matters. It matters because whoever leads influences his followers. Furthermore, the influence the leader impresses on his followers is either positive or negative. Warren Wiersbe observes, “Everything rises or falls with leadership.” He is right. I believe that we’ve all, at some point in life, experienced the effect of either a good or bad leadership. 

Scripture tells us that young Timothy has proven to be a model of a good and faithful leadership. This does not mean that he was flawless. No one is flawless, except our Lord Jesus Christ. However, Timothy’s life set an example. Despite the pagan culture where he was raised and lived, his integrity and godly character have drawn the attention of many; among them was the apostle Paul (Acts 16:1).

The training Timothy received when he accompanied Paul sharpened every aspect of his life. Timothy learned how to become a leader according to God, not man. Timothy also understood the meaning of leadership from Paul; leadership is stewardship. A steward is either found faithful or not. Leaders are thus expected to use their position properly, not to abuse it. Every Christian leader must remember that one day he will give an account to God.

There is no room for personal interests or gain in Christian leadership.

There is no room for personal interests or gain in Christian leadership. Christian leadership is God-centered. It is Gospel-oriented. It is servant-leadership. It is all about presenting oneself approved to God by leading God’s people with joy, love, forbearance, and respect. Leadership is leading God’s people. Thus, the task of leading ought to be taken seriously, knowing that godly leadership will be rewarded by God Himself.

This series of articles aims to provide a closer look at Timothy, a leader according to God. First, we will begin with his biography. Next, we will discuss his character as a leader. Afterwards, the way he understood the cost and perils of leadership and the responsibilities he had as a leader. Then, we will deal with the way he handled the authority given to him and his style of leadership. Finally, we are going to look at his communications as a leader and his followers’ response.

These articles intend to challenge us and motivate us to be faithful leaders. They aim to help us understand how character and influence matter. Leadership is not easy. It is hard and takes hard work. It is challenging and will be a challenge. It requires self-sacrifice and is focused on the welfare of others. You can add to the list, ‘what kind of leader are you today’? What kind of leader do you want to be? A leader according to God or a leader according to man?

Cherif Arif is originally from Cairo, Egypt. He has a passion for teaching and preaching the Bible. He is involved in equipping pastors and leaders in the Middle East.