2 Timothy 1:3-14
3I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
8So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.
13What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
I want to take this morning to talk to Nick. I will inivte you to listen in. I will offer a few asides as I share, and do my best to help you hear this letter as the community of faith did so long ago. You Paul was a traveling pastor, he was an apostle, a herald and a teacher, much as I think of myself. Timothy was just a young man whom Paul had seen for leadership in that early faith community of Christians.
(turning to Nick) I know Timothy had his Grandmother and mother top guide his faith development, you even have your great-grandmother, and I know that you have learned from their faith, and grown in your faith because of their teaching.
I want to affirm the call you have heard from God into ministry. You are a young man of good character, faith, love for God, and devotion to the Word. You model your life after Jesus of Nazareth, and bring it to life for today, being wholly yourself as well.
I want to tell you that this job as a pastor is not easy work. It is for this reason that Paul tells Timothy, and I tell you, that God did not give us a spirit of fear, cowardice or timidity, but a power in the spirit, bringing love, hope and resurrection. You will need to have self-discipline and you will have the power of the Holy Spirit to guide you.
Do not be ashamed of the gospel, of this church, these people, or of me. I have been here but a short time, but I have tried to teach with sound teaching, faithful witness, and love of Jesus Christ. This same love is the love with which I have loved you and the people of this congregation.
(Turning back to the congregation) I now entrust to you the great gift that has been entrusted to me. I ask you to love and nurture Nick in the faith, encouraging his ministry, and developing your own ministries. Guard this treasure with the help of the Holy Spirit.
...and now as I have shared some of Paul's testimony to Timothy, and Timothy then was to share with the congregation in his presence, I invite Nick to share some of his testimony with you about how he has heard the call to ministry.
[I would likewise invite you to ask the "Nick" in your congregations to share their testimony]