Rev. Trevor Johnston
Sermon Series: Start: Start Now, Start New, Start Over
- At the time Paul wrote the letters that we call 1st and 2nd Timothy, Timothy was young in ministry, serving as local pastor and later as a bishop over many churches in the city of Ephesus. He had come to faith through his mother and grandmother. The Apostle Paul had mentored him in ministry. They were very close, and Paul even called Timothy his “son in the faith”.
Read what Paul wrote to Timothy:
1 Timothy 6:12: “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
What do you notice from these two verses?
Big Rule #3 in Starting: Embrace the Gift of Perspective
- What do we mean by “perspective”? What is “perspective”, how do we get it, and why is it helpful?
- What is one thing that you personally sense that God wants you to “start new” in your life? (Apply the rest of these ideas to that one thing.)
- Ask God for perspective.
- Read James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
What does this verse tell you about how to handle times when you feel confused or unsure about a situation in your life?
Have you ever tried this? If so, tell the group about your experience – whether it was positive or negative.
- Read Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
What does this verse add to your understanding about what can happen when we ask God for perspective?
- Ask advisers for perspective.
- Read Proverbs 15:22: “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Do you agree that it’s important to ask other people for advice as you seek to make a new start in your life? Why or why not?
Have you ever done this and had a bad experience? If so, why didn’t it go well?
- In the book, Leadership Axioms Bill Hybels says, “Obi-Wan Kenobi isn’t for hire.”
What did he mean by that?
- Have you ever sought counsel from another person and it really helped you make some progress? Tell the group about one such experience.
- Here are two sources of wisdom that have been helpful to Pastor Trevor, that could help you find some potential mentors for your life.
- Books by wise spiritual leaders
- Other Christians – people at church or in your circle of friends and family
What are some qualities to look for in a good mentor?
- Pastor Trevor’s mentors (authors and podcast speakers) include: Bill Hybels, Richard Foster, Thomas Oden, N.T. Wright, John Wesley, and Pete Greg.
Name an author or speaker who has helped mentor you.
- Now name a face-to-face mentor – someone you know personally that has helped you grow and become a better person. What are some things you’ve learned from that person?
- Respond well to the perspective that’s offered to you.
In his book Necessary Endings, Henry Cloud describes three types of people:
- Wise people – These are people who are willing to change when they sense they are going the wrong way.
- Foolish people – These are people who are told they are going the wrong way, and (even though they mean well) they don’t take the advice. They just keep going the wrong way.
- Evil people – These are people who – when someone tries to help them understand they are going the wrong way and give them advice, they attack that person.
- Share about examples that you have seen of each of these types of people.
- Which type of person do you tend to be, when you get advice from someone about an area in your life that needs to change?