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Organizational Values in Leadership

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 values and leadership expectations that would guide the church of Christ and cause it to grow. Timothy was, no doubt, chosen because of Paul’s confidence in him as a leader (Phil. 2:19-22). In verses 14 and 15 of 1 Timothy chapter three, we see the purpose of the passage. Paul wants to establish the organizational values and draw a picture of what a leader in this “church of the living God” is supposed to look like. Leadership selection in Paul’s day seems to indicate a new direction. The world surrounding Paul and Timothy was undergoing significant change. A shift in spiritual and Old Testament values began demanding change when Jesus developed His ministry on earth. The profound nature of this man attacked the ideals and beliefs of people throughout the Mediterranean. Paul, a Greek Jew and Roman citizen, became an apostle after the ascension of Jesus and the Pentecost event in Acts chapter two. Even Paul’s selection was a radical departure from how the original twelve received their commission (Acts 22:6-10). Roman occupied Palestine became a breading ground for followers of a new faith in God through the teaching and preaching of apostles about a Jew named Jesus they came to believe was the Messiah, in Hebrew, or Christ, in Greek. Jewish lawgivers considered Jesus a threat to their law (Matthew 22:18, Mark 12:16, Luke 20:26), and these radical Jesus followers were equally threatening (Acts 8:1, 11:19). It was in this context that Paul establishes value based expectations for leaders in this newly formed church. His selection and ordination of Timothy follows this new pattern and sets a standard for subsequent leadership appointments.