Set 18: Paul to the Leaders

Some of the big questions in the early church related to leadership. How should they act? How should they lead? How do they explain or defend the Gospel during arguments with each other and the rest of the world? These are questions that modern church leaders try to answer as well! Paul's letters to the churches are a wealth of guidance to us still today as we grow in faith and work to share God's love with those around us. 1st and 2nd Timothy as well as Titus are referred to as the "Pastoral Epistles" because of how Paul addresses Godly leadership.


Message from Sunday, February 25th

1 & 2 Thessalonians (to the church in the city of Thessaloniki, in modern Greece)The church in Thessaloniki was under physical persecution, so Paul was writing with encouragement to stand firm in faith through it. He focused on Christ's second coming and what to watch for. Many people of the time considered the second coming to be imminent.
1 & 2 Timothy (to Timothy while Timothy is in Ephesus)Paul is now writing specifically to Timothy instead of to a church. Paul had continued on his missionary journey and left Timothy to work with the church in Ephesus. When Paul realized he would not be able to return to Ephesus as expected, he wrote to Timothy to give clarity on the message of God's grace. The second letter provided encouragement to both Timothy as well as the church at Ephesus.
Titus (to Titus while he is in charge of the church at Crete): Titus was a Gentile convert whom Paul left in charge after bringing the Gospel message to the island of Crete. Paul is teaching Titus how to reflect the care and grace of God in various aspects of Christian living.

These questions can apply to all readings individually or can be done after all readings are finished.
  1. What differences do you see in the writings to church leaders vs. writings to the church as a whole?
  2. What verses are so familiar that you breeze over them? Find time to meditate on them and how they apply to your life today.
  3. What challenged you in the reading and why?
  4. What does this Biblical account invite you to do, think, or believe after reading it?

Dear Lord, we know that in this world we will face difficulties and persecution as Christians. Give us the strength to stand firm in our faith. Keep us engaged in Your Word so that we are rooted to you. Let us be a light to the darkness around us as we share Your love and grace with our friends, family, and everyone around us. When we are wrong, help us to be humble. You have promised to be with us always; help us to rest assured in that promise.

You can engage these readings and devotional times individually or as a group. If you want to send an email to Family of Christ with your thoughts and questions, you are invited to click the link below.