Every Christian A Mobilizer

Timothy Principle

Every Christian A Mobilizer

If you hang around people who are excited about missions long enough, you’ll eventually hear this special little buzzword: “mobilization.” You might also hear its close cousin “mobilizer.” These aren’t terms most Christians are familiar with in the church context, but they are terms that are gaining momentum and traction as the church thinks about its role in missions domestically and abroad. Mobilization, simply put, is the process of moving God’s people toward strategic roles or actions that help to reach the world for Christ. It involves shifting the mentality and the worldview of Christians so that they place a higher priority on the Great Commission. The mobilizer is a disciple-maker who activates resources and people toward a strategic goal or objective. Based on this definition, wouldn’t it make sense that every believer should think of himself or herself as a mobilizer?

Consider 2 Timothy 2:2, “What you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.” Paul was writing to Timothy, a young pastor in the city of Ephesus to encourage him to multiply himself through others. This idea of multiplication wasn’t new to Paul. Jesus had modeled the strategy of multiplication in his own ministry. Jesus spent the majority of his time with twelve men, training and teaching them so that, one day, they would teach others also. It wasn’t overnight. It required spending lots of time with these men and hundreds of “teaching moments” to get them to shift their mentality and priorities. Jesus was transplanting his worldview into his disciples. It’s no stretch to say that Jesus was a master mobilizer.

Timothy PrincipleChristians who desire to make an impact for Christ in the world realize the power of Jesus model of multiplication and the truth Paul speaks of in 2 Timothy 2:2. This  principle is the key to unlocking exponential influence. What can one person achieve alone? But if one person follows the Timothy Principle and invests in 6 people with a view in mind that each of them will invest in 6 others, we can see how one person can impact 36 people. If we take this to the third generation and if 36 people influence 6 each, now 216 people are impacted. It needs to be stated that people will always drop out of the process of discipleship. After all, even Jesus lost Judas, but the power of exponential influence through training teachers far outweighs any other method.

The mobilizer seeks to multiply God’s heart for people into their students. But they don’t just stop there. In accordance with the Timothy Principle, they search for faithful people who can teach others. This extra step makes all the difference in building an exponential ministry. Paul is specific here. He gives Timothy two very specific criteria by which to select his students. Most people who have given up on the idea of exponential influence fail because they forget Paul strict selection process.

The first thing Paul emphasizes is that the students be faithful. How far can a teacher get with a student who is unfaithful? Not very far! A faithful student is eager to learn and willing to apply the knowledge they have received. A positive attitude and a willingness to accept the instruction of the teacher was a requirement for Paul. Ask any teacher about their students who refuse to apply their learning, and you will get an earful of frustration. Many students are in process and may not show signs of being faithful in an early stage of development, but the discerning teacher can see the potential and is patient. This calls for wisdom on the part of the teacher. And the truly great teachers are highly selective in who they teach. They want to make sure their students are willing to apply what they learn.

The second part of selection is that the student is able to teach others. This may not mean that the student has acute teaching skills, but a basic understanding of how to convey ideas and skills to others is required. Most people are able to teach. The real question is whether they will make this a priority. Will they be eager to pass their training forward? A wise teacher or mobilizer would do well to consider this beforehand.

Paul’s instruction to Timothy is a timeless principle for every Christian. Every Christian can be a mobilizer. Every Christian can have an exponential impact where they live. They don’t need to be professional ministers to apply the Timothy Principle. It all starts with selecting a few faithful people who can teach others. Imagine what the church might look like if every Christian adopted the Timothy Principle. What would our evangelism and discipleship efforts look like if we trained every church member as persons with the ability to have exponential influence? One thing is clear, the result would be a whole lot more mission going on, not less!

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