21 Aug

I create a to do list every week. At the start of each week I group all of my tasks into different categories. Administrative tasks, vision and mission tasks, teaching, pastoral care and so on. I also have a category for everything that's happening outside of work, like home projects, kids sports and family get-togethers. Then, throughout the week I work my way down the list crossing things off as I go. During some seasons of life I find myself writing the same task down several weeks in a row. There's often too much in a given week to get it all done. If I could temporarily duplicate myself I'm certain I could get everything done. I wouldn't want a duplicate of me all the time or it could become like the plot of a science fiction movie. Things would get weird. And I might actually be talking to myself.

But the idea of duplication is actually biblical. No, not the genetic kind of duplication but copying oneself for the purpose of ministry. The apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:13 "Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." Later he says in 2:2, "and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also." He wanted Timothy to follow his example and then have other men follow Timothy's example.

It is my conviction that "Every leader should be purposefully reproducing themselves". This is the model Jesus established for us and is the most successful way of extending beyond ourselves. Each person can only do so much. Every Christian leader, whether you are overseeing the nursery or in charge of cleaning the building should be pouring their knowledge, skill and experience into someone else. "Train your replacement" is what a business might tell an outgoing employee. That's what Christians are to be doing all the time. The church has existed in strength for 2000 years because men and women have trained the next generation of Christ followers. Many have been like Paul, and taken on a Timothy to mentor and train. Are you a Paul or a Timothy? Are you leading and training someone or are you being led and trained by someone? If you aren't in either category, pick one and get to work. Every Christian and every leader should be purposefully reproducing themselves. "Purposefully" means intentional. We need to do this on purpose, not just hope it happens as we live life. Are you duplicating yourself right now?

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