1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, purity.”
Possibly the most common trouble that targets Timothys is the stigma of their age. Phrases such as “preacher boy” are often tagged and pinned to the man of God who is just stepping out of the gate. With this label usually comes a significant loss of productivity in one’s preaching. In 1 Timothy 4:12 Paul is admonishing Timothy to carry and conduct himself in such a manner that his age would be eclipsed by his example. It’s entirely essential that as a young preacher one doesn’t come off as immature and inexperienced. I cannot count the number of times I’ve seen younger preachers who by their pulpit mannerisms, their use of certain words or phrases, or by their actions prior to stepping onto the platform, totally drain the influence and impact from their message and their ministry. People need to feel and know that they are hearing form a man of God not a “Johnny-come-lately”! Naturally some of this will happen due to the fact that a young preacher lacks the pulpit time, as well as life experience of an older preacher. However, much of the bad light that is cast by being a “preacher boy” can be overshadowed by the conduct, conversation, and character to the Timothy.
It’s important to take note, that in no way should a starting preacher ever suppose themselves to be in any way shape or form superior to a seasoned preacher. The Bible calls upon all Christians to respect and honor their elders and this is especially important in the area of addressing seasoned men of God! Arrogance will move a preacher from the ministry’s batter’s box to the back end of the bench in a moment!
1 Timothy 5:1- “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;”
1 Timothy 5:17– “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”
Today, at this point in my own ministry I am almost always younger than the pastor that I am preaching for. Often times I am asked for council or input from those with more years of preaching than I have living and who may be dealing with problems and situations that possibly I have not yet encountered. At the time of this writing I am many times half the age of the host pastor as well as most of his people, but I have encountered no resistance to my messages or my ministry. If a Timothy is going to succeed in their service they must tackle the trouble of their youth! I truly believe that regardless of one’s tenure on the plant, they can still see great results from their time in the pulpit if only they will commit a few, Scriptural principles to their character!
Evangelist| Dr. Justin Cooper
Clays Mill Baptist Church| (859)-277-6811