Heroes of the Bible

Timothy: A Good Team Player

Timothy was a good team player because he served faithfully in good times and in bad times, and he had genuine concern for those he was helping, instead of looking out for his own interests.

Since my name is Timothy, I can’t resist writing some blogs telling how Timothy was a hero of the Bible. In this blog, I praise Timothy as a good team player.

We know about Timothy from stories in the Book of Acts and from comments by Paul in several of his letters that are preserved in the New Testament.

From the Book of Acts, we learn that Paul met Timothy during his Second Missionary Journey.

On this journey, Paul reached a city called Lystra (located in present-day Turkey) “where a disciple named Timothy lived” (Acts 16:1). “The believers . . . spoke well of him” (Acts 16:2). Paul decided “to take him along on the journey . . ..” (Acts 16:3).

Timothy became one of several key members of Paul’s Team.

Paul’s Team included Silas. He was a leader among the believers in Jerusalem.  The apostles and elders in Jerusalem sent him to the believers in Antioch (where Paul was a leader) to confirm that they supported Paul (Acts 15:22-40).

Paul’s Team also included Luke. (Acts 16:10). He was a doctor. He used his time with Paul and Silas to help him research and write the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts (Acts 16:10).

It’s hard to imagine a better Team to mentor Timothy. He traveled and worked with them for years, in good times and in bad.

In the good times, “[a]s they traveled from town to town, . . . the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers” (Acts 16:4-5).

In the bad times, Paul and Silas were beset by mobs, dragged before the authorities, beaten, thrown in prison, and driven out of town. (Acts 16:19-24,38-40; 17:5-9,13-15; 19:23-20:1; 2 Corinthians 11:23-29).

One of these bad times happened in the city of Philippi. Paul and Silas were beaten, flogged, and thrown into prison.

Years later, Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, thanking them for a gift they sent him while he was “in chains” in Rome. (Philippians 1:7,12-14,17; 4:22). Paul asked Timothy to join him in writing this thank you letter to the Philippians. (Philippians 1:1).

In this letter, Paul praised Timothy for being a good team player.

Paul wrote that he hoped to send Timothy to them soon. (Philippians 2:19). Then he added: “I have no one else like [Timothy], who will show genuine concern for your welfare.” (Philippians 2:20).

What set Timothy apart? Why did Paul rely on him? Why did Timothy show genuine concern for the Philippians? What made Timothy a good team player?

Timothy was not looking out for his own interests, but those of Jesus Christ—serving with Paul as a son serving with his father “in the work of the gospel”. (Philippians 2:21-22).

This combination of virtues remains the same today if you want to be a good team player.

Serve faithfully in good times and in bad times.

Show genuine concern for those you are helping.

Do not look out for your own interests.

Look out for the interests of Jesus Christ, as you serve with others in the work of the gospel.

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For my other blogs praising Timothy, please read “Timothy: A Good Shepherd” and “Timothy: A Good Teacher”.

For additional thoughts about Paul’s Missionary Journeys, please read my book Lighting the World at “Part Three: Paul Establishes Churches in Europe” and “Part Four: Paul Nurtures the Early Churches”.

For additional thoughts on Timothy, please read my book Lighting the World, at pages 94-96.