Paul’s advice to Timothy on how to deal with different age groups is very good. I have known of young pastors who went counter to this advice, very much to the detriment of their ministry. When a young so-called leader does not properly honor the more senior members, feelings are hurt and it is very hard for the young pastor to regain the respect the seniors would like to give him, had he honored their many years of service to the Lord.
In regards to elders and deacons in the church, Paul tells Timothy to do something that is seldom done today. Paul tells Timothy to reprimand the leaders in his church who sin, and do it publicly so that other leaders will be afraid. Can you imagine that being done today? It would be good for the church to do this today, because Christians have the reputation of being hypocrites. If the world saw us cleaning up our own ranks, I believe we would have more credibility when we make moral statements about cultural issues.
Paul tells Timothy to be cautious in ordaining someone. He says that some sins are obvious, but others take time to be found out. Hence the “don’t rush to ordain” instruction. Conversely, some good and godly men are known by the nature of their service, but others serve God in such a way that they go unnoticed. Paul wants Timothy to be on the lookout for these folks, too.
My late father-in-law was one of these types of servants. Unassuming and quiet, he did many things in the church that were behind the scenes. He was never one to draw attention to himself or what he was doing, but because of his integrity and his servant’s heart, he became known as one of the finest men in the church, and served many terms as an elder. He’s been with the Lord many years now, and is still remembered and loved by those who knew him. Including yours truly.
Paul’s advice in the sixth chapter has to do with servants doing their jobs well, for the name of Christ, encouraging Timothy to remain true to the teaching he got from Paul, the damage that comes to those who lust for wealth, and a reminder to fight the good fight.
It’s easy, when in the trenches, to get distracted by the attacks of the enemy. But when we keep the goal in mind, when we don’t stray from the basics we will make it through and accomplish the task to which we are called. This is true for pastors and it is true for the rest of us, as well.