Today's Message


Let’s Evaluate Your Ministry

1 Timothy

Airs: July 2 - July 6

Ask any student getting ready to take a final exam how he or she feels, and you’ll likely get a contradictory answer. The student will be filled with trepidation because the test will reveal his or her knowledge (or ignorance) but also with elation because it’s the last test of the course. What is standard procedure in education and business—the evaluation of students and employees—isn’t necessarily standard procedure in ministry. Churches too often shirk the responsibility of evaluating how their ministries are doing. They shouldn’t. Because churches are populated and pastored by imperfect people, we should stop every once in a while to administer an examination against the standard of God’s Word. As we close our study of 1 Timothy, let’s do that—let’s evaluate your ministry.

July 3, 2015
Let’s Evaluate Your Ministry
Excellence in Ministry: Finishing Well—Doing What’s Best in the Challenges of Ministry


  • July 7 - July 9 Urgent Words from a Dungeon

    Death lurked in the shadows…and Paul knew it. Dropped into a dungeon during the reign of deranged Nero, Paul spent his last days lonely and cold…but not desperate and despondent. Writing by lamplight, Paul penned his “swan song”—one final, passionate letter to his “beloved son” Timothy (2 Timothy 1:2). A last will and testament of sorts, 2 Timothy is filled with strong exhortations, insightful instructions, and intimate reflections—and it spurred Timothy onward in his race of faith.

  • July 10 - July 14 Tender Words from a Mentor

    Prison wasn’t something new for Paul. He had previously spent at least four years confined by Roman authorities (Acts 24:27; 28:30). However, his time in the Mamertine dungeon was something new. It was a cold, dark, foul-smelling place; little more than a hole in the ground under the crowded streets of Rome. And though Dr. Luke had cared for Paul’s physical needs (2 Timothy 4:11), the apostle longed to see his spiritual son. Timothy still ministered in Ephesus, some 830 miles to the southeast. Ministry was still troublesome. Heretical hounds still barked and bit.

  • July 15 - July 17 Straight Talk to the Timid and Reluctant

    Following Christ ought to come with a warning label: Christianity is a battleground, not a playground. For 30 years, Paul had “fought the good fight” (2 Timothy 4:7), suffering for the cause of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). Paul’s heroics are writ large over our faith, making it easy to conclude that every believer ought to be or have been just like him—charging the gates of hell with a bucket of ice water. Not so. Some of God’s choicest saints were reluctant (like Moses), rebellious (like Jonah), and fearful (like Timothy).

  • July 20 - July 22 Two Eternal Investments

    Time was short. The end was near. At any moment the executioner could yank Paul away, his letter to Timothy unfinished. Paul had to write quickly, but carefully. It’s foolish for prisoners on death row to waste words. Paul didn’t. Every verse in 2 Timothy echoes this everlasting truth: “All that is not eternal is eternally out of date”—including the last six verses of chapter 1. In these verses, Paul reminded Timothy (and us) that only two things are really eternal and worthy of lifelong investment.

  • July 23 - July 27 Travelling a Rough and Rugged Road

    Some things are easy to hear, bringing comfort and encouragement to smooth life’s rough edges. Other things are difficult to hear, telling of pains to endure and troubles to face. We grin at the one and grimace at the other. But if we’re honest, we know that growth comes through overcoming difficulties—by trudging down the rock-strewn, overgrown, untrodden path that takes us to vistas unseen. When Paul laid out a path of suffering for his protégé, Timothy, the young pastor may have grimaced. But Paul promised more than pain.