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THREE TIERS OF TRAINING FOR TIMOTHY
Jay Graham

There are a number of lessons we can gain by studying about the evangelist, Timothy. I would like you to consider the passages from Acts 16:1-3, 1 Tim 4:14, & 2 Tim 1:5. We have a clear example of Christ’s will in regard to the training of an evangelist. His training consisted of three tiers.

Where did his training begin? It began in the home, and it came from his mother and grandmother. I like the phrase in 2 Tim 1:5— “when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.” This is the most natural place for a Christian’s early training that often starts while in his mother’s arms as she is singing to her child or telling him of a story in the Bible. It is also natural a father be involved in these early years, though Timothy’s did not seem to be. Paul noted Timothy’s faith was first in his mother and grandmother, and it naturally evolved into his own. That is the first tier.

The second tier involved the church, or as it has been properly called “The school of the soul”. This would include the many lessons he would have heard from the various brothers as they shared in the teaching of the body. Eventually Timothy surely took part in this teaching as he matured. He had gained a good reputation among the brethren, and it would have been only natural for him to become a teacher of that same body eventually. Timothy’s instruction from and with the body would have been overseen by the elders of that congregation as they eventually sent him out to do the work of an evangelist.

Certainly Timothy’s reputation was a part of Paul’s desire to have him travel and learn under Paul’s teaching and guidance as he worked and learned as a younger evangelist. This would have been the third tier of teaching for this younger man. Surely this included much godly wisdom Paul conveyed to this young man whom Paul considered a “son” in 1 Tim 1:18. This teaching would have included a better understanding of the OT Scriptures as well as inspiration in regard to the NT church and its teaching.

In this simple pattern we can clearly see the hand of the Lord as He surely was giving us an example to follow as to how He would want His evangelists among the churches to be trained. This is just one other example of how God has indeed given us “all things pertaining to life and godliness” as noted in 
2 Pet 1:2-4. We only need to follow this example.