Men, where is your man? Women, where is your woman? ~ Dawson Trotman, Born to Reproduce
Discipleship is essential. In Titus 2:1-8, Paul explains Christian discipleship to Titus: older men are to be faithful and sound in character that they might teach the younger men to be faithful and sound in character; and older women are to be faithful and sound in character that they might teach the younger women to be faithful and sound in character.
Too often I see in churches a failure to follow Titus 2. The excuse I most often hear: “Our generation just doesn’t like the same things the other generation does. We don’t get them and they don’t get us.”
Not that it’s not true—it is very true. Culture changes, taste changes, style changes, even the meaning of words change with time. This is not your grandfather’s world.
So just ignore what the Bible says? Rubbish.
Meet Max. A lot of people know Max Barnett and a lot more people know of Max. Countless scores have been influenced by Max either directly or indirectly to passionately pursue Christ and lead others to do the same. Max was the director of the University of Oklahoma Baptist Student Union for roughly 37 years. He retired in 2004 to pursue other avenues of ministry. I graduated from OU in 2003, just before the end of his tenure.
By that time, Max was old(ish). And I don’t mean that as a slight. It just means that compared to those of us in that 18-23ish range, Max was of a different culture—different style, different tastes, etc. But Max influenced and still continues to influence youn-uns not because we liked the same type of music or played the same video games (if he ever even played video games…).
Rather, it is because no matter what the culture, a common human trait exists: we all have an ingrained need for relationship, a need to have someone take the time to care for us. That’s what Max did—even if we weren’t directly discipled by him as a part of his ministry team (my dorm had a different BSU staff member to oversee us), when he saw us he would ask how we were, how our quiet times were, what was happening in our lives, etc.
He cared. And that overcomes just about every cultural barrier that might exist.
What the church needs is more older and mature men and women, followers of Jesus, who care enough to be like Max—to be Pauls to the younger Timothys.
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~ 2 Timothy 1:1-7
A Paul is a person whose life is defined by a passionate pursuit of Christ, and out of that passion he seeks to instill this pursuit in others.
1. Bases his life on the will and grace of God (1:1-2),
2. Serves and worships God without reservation (1:3),
3. Prays constantly for the ones he influences (1:3),
4. Finds joy in his relationships with those he mentors (1:4),
5. Encourages those he mentors with the growth he sees in their lives (1:5),
6. Celebrates and works with the spiritual influence of others (1:5),
7. And urges those he mentors to serve, worship, and love God and others with passion (1:6-7).
Do you live with a passionate pursuit of Christ? Do you encourage such a passionate pursuit in others? Who is your Paul? Who is your Timothy?
Men, where is your man? Women, where is your woman?