And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:2 NKJV
One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles…
Luke 6:12-13 NLT
I’m not sure some days why I got chosen by a man to have him invest his time into me but over time it led to me literally discipling other men for a living. Not many of you will be asked to do that and will disciple men in the midst of regular jobs. Again, I am often not sure why God would point me in this direction. I promise there is very little difference between us.
What this full time role has done for me is to give me a concentrated period of time to make most of the mistakes that can be made in discipling/coaching other men. I could tell a lot of stories but here are the most basic things I have learned about choosing men to invest time into with the goal of coaching them to a greater love for God that they can then pass on to others.
Be both pragmatic and prayerful.
In 2 Timothy 2:2 the apostle Paul instructs Timothy to look for FAITHful men. Acronyms help me remember things:
F - look for men who have proven themselves to be faithful (reliable is another way this word is translated). They do what they say they will do.
A - make sure men are available- literally do your schedules match up enough to be able to spend time together
I - consider investing your time into men who are intentional about wanting to grow spiritually and are already demonstrating that.
T - make sure men are teachable (this can be really challenging with “well-churched” men).
H - watch for men who are hungry for more of what God has for them. This may show up through struggles in their lives. They are likely pursuing you as much as you are pursuing them.
As helpful as that acronym has been to me it has also led me in the wrong direction a few times or made me miss a man God wants me to invest in. The missing element when that happens is always prayer. Even though Jesus had spent considerable time with his larger group of disciples he took an entire night to pray and ask his Father who to choose to invest his rapidly shrinking time into. Don’t skip this (trust me I have). Expect some surprises when you do though - God has completely taken me in a direction different from the FAITH acronym a few times.
Daily Battle Order:
Start today with prayer and begin asking God to give you a man, or men, to invest your time into. Begin to quietly watch for the FAITHful men he puts across your path, write their names down and pray for them specifically before you even talk to them about a coaching relationship. Pay attention to the often strange “exceptions to the rule” that God might give you (He may be looking to stretch you through a challenge). Don't move too quickly in order to give yourself time to hear from God but don't hesitate too long either. Step out in faith yourself and invite a man, or men, into your life. A good place to start might be to invite them to join you on a battlefield with the Joshua Commission.