“…and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Tim 2:2)
Paul’s wise counsel to Timothy is applicable on many levels, and has a multitude of benefits. A few that I will mention today:
It about the message, not the messenger. Paul was a good example of this, not being jealous of others who gained renown preaching the gospel, but rather simply rejoicing that the gospel was proclaimed. Pride will tempt us to want to be “the guy” – the teacher and leader that people remember and look to. But what is of primary importance isn’t us, but is the gospel that gets preached. When we practice entrusting to faithful men, we are shedding a few of the (multitudinous) opportunities for pride.
The message must carry on after us. Paul himself knew that his days on the earth were short. To have his most effective ministry, he needed not only to preach to unbelievers, but also to teach the teachers who would reach the following generation. I have heard it said that your effectiveness as a parent isn’t shown as much in how your children turn out as in how your grandchildren turn out. For Paul’s spiritual grandchildren to be vibrant and mature Christians, he needed to make sure his spiritual children were well-trained.
You can’t do it all on your own. This is the big temptation for me, and was the initial thought that prompted this post. Just because you (or I) have the skills to do the task yourself doesn’t mean you should be the one to always do it. There is far more work to do than any one of us can handle. Finding and training others who can both assist and replace you is essential in maintaining health, sanity, and the healthy operation of any ministry.