Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek. Timothy was well thought of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium, so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey...
— Acts 16:1-3 NLT
When we look at Jesus' ministry, we notice that the Lord did not let people volunteer or choose for themselves to be his apostles, his closest missionary traveling companions. He decided who his closest disciples would be with great care and all night prayer.* In the Jewish world of rabbi and disciple, disciples did not choose the rabbi by whom they would be trained. Instead, the rabbi chose his disciples who were going to be his leadership-partners — the future rabbis of his school. Paul followed this model with the help of faithful people when he chose Timothy. Timothy was a young man who had both a Jewish heritage — with at least two generations of strong faith (2 Timothy 1:5) — and a Gentile background through his father. His faithfulness, along with his experience and good reputation, made him uniquely suited for Paul as his "son in the faith" (1 Timothy 1:2) whom he could nurture into a leader trained at his feet just as Paul had been trained by Gamaliel and Barnabas.* The point is essential: Based on biblical examples, leaders should seek out and train qualified new leaders.
Almighty God, my loving Father, thank you for the examples of Jesus, Barnabas, and Paul. Their lives are powerful testimonies of courage, faith, and encouragement. Thank you for their commitment to invest in others by choosing those with potential. Thank you for their investment of time in these emerging leaders so that the new leaders could learn from them and extend the trajectory of their ministries. I ask that you move among your leaders today to convict and inspire them to invest in future generations. Help them as they seek to train emerging leaders to continue the faith long after this generation of leaders has gone to be with Jesus. I ask this in his name and for the sake of his cause. Amen.