I [Paul] thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you [Timothy] in my prayers. (2 Timothy 1:3 NIV)
When I was a teenager, my church had these weekend retreats every year called the “Paul & Timothy Weekend.” Here, the men and the boys of the congregation went out to the woods to both be men and to grow in the faith. The goal here was for the older men to teach the younger boys how to be stronger Christians.
When Paul is writing this, he is locked up in prison for preaching the Gospel, about to die. He writes to Timothy, his “son” in the faith whom he has mentored and brought up to be a strong believer and preacher in his own right.
The idea is that you older Christians are supposed to guide the younger Christians. But how? By telling your story. Telling about your mistakes and how you overcame them by handing them over to Christ. How you trusted God in all things. And how that was sometimes easier said than done. Honesty and openness. Testimony. It is the biggest tool we have to bring up younger Christians.
And of course, remember them in your prayers.
Matthew Coker is a Media Director at a church in his hometown, where he also is a leader at a Celebrate Recovery program. He’s a huge comic book nerd, Whovian, and Funko Pop Collector. Matthew and his wife live in New Mexico.