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Lifestyle Mentoring

1 Timothy Chapter 3 is a leadership manual. While in Ephesus, Timothy receives a letter from his mentor. Paul has chosen his closest spiritual child (1 Tim. 1:2) to set forth the organizational principles and leadership expectations that would guide the church of Christ. Timothy was no doubt chosen because of Paul’s confidence in him as a leader (Phil. 2:19-22). In verse 15 we see the purpose of the passage. Paul wants to draw a picture of what a leader in this “church of the living God” is supposed to look like. Paul had already modeled this and now formalizes it with this letter. Smith and Goetz describe this type of mentoring as “Lifestyle Mentoring”. This has a focus on the lifestyle of the leader (modeling) and defines the principles of living (the letter). Paul let Timothy observe him at work then he promoted him to the churches. In this letter he gives the qualifications for the organizational structure previously set up. In the broad sense, we could call Paul a lifestyle mentor to Timothy. Again, Smith and Goetz speak to this by asserting: “This type of mentoring is a kind of parenting without the typical parental responsibilities. The real responsibility falls on the younger to absorb and to observe correctly.” Paul trusts Timothy to insure quality in leadership.

Smith, F., & Goetz, D. L. 1999. Vol. 5: Leading with integrity : Competence with Christian character. The pastor’s soul series . Bethany House Publishers: Minneapolis, Minn.