Mentoring Recap: How One Cup of Coffee Can Change the World
Over the next three weeks we will be bringing you three Bible Studies from one of our most popular previous series. There are seven studies in the series, and you can see the rest of them here.
The Big Idea: Discipleship is one man caring enough about another man to help him build a relationship with God, a worldview that’s biblical, and a lifestyle worthy of Christ.
Let’s presuppose that, like Peter, James, John, Paul, Timothy and others, you’re a true believer that making disciples is the main work of a Christian. If you want to help a man become a disciple, then what is it exactly that you want to help him become? And precisely how do you go about helping him do it? Those are the questions we’ll begin to answer in the first lesson of this series.
2 Timothy 2:2
Good morning, men.
We have a number of first time visitors this morning, and repeat, reunion type visitors, for the new series, Men Reaching Men, so I’d like to give these visitors a hand clap, so would you join me on the count of 3 and let’s welcome our visitors. 1, 2, 3, we’re glad you’re here this morning.
We are going to be opening to Second Timothy 2, Chapter 2. Before we get going, let’s do a shout out.
We’ve got a new group that’s just started, Men of Restoration, at the Life Empowerment Church in
Portland, Oregon. They’re 20 men, meeting at a community center on a monthly basis, Saturdays at 9:00 AM. Terrence Harris is the leader, and Mike Link is your field staff, if you’ve not connected, let me encourage you to do that. Would you join me in giving a very warm and rousing welcome to the Men of Restoration in Portland, Oregon. 1, 2, 3, hurrah.
Welcome, guys. We’re glad to have you with us. Okay, so the series is Men Reaching Men, and the title of the first message, “How One Cup of Coffee Could Change the World”. You see these men everywhere. They are so tired, they are sort of exhausted with the “me now”, fast, virtual reality pace of our online culture. They’re not just tired physically, although that too, but mentally, emotionally, just sort of exhausted with the pace of life. You will run across these men today. In fact, you are working with some of these men, and you will cross paths a dozen times in the next week with these men.
Their lives are sort of coming a little bit unglued. Their marriages and families are a train wreck. They have these destructive behaviors that keep dragging them down. They don’t feel like their life has meaning, like it has purpose. They think their problems are unique, however, and they feel alone, and the last thing that they think is that you would have any idea of what they’re going through, or that you could possibly understand, or that you would dare care about them on a personal basis.
Now, for some of you, I could have just been describing your situation. So there will be something in this for you, as well, or you might be on the other end of this, and you might be strong in your relationship with God, and ready to help do something about it. We’re going to presuppose, for the series, that you get it. That you are a true believer. That the main task that Jesus wants us to be working on in the world is making disciples. You join with Peter, with Paul, with James, with John, Ringo, whatever. You join with all the disciples in believing that this is the case, this is true.
With that presupposition in place, if you want to help a man become a disciple, what is it exactly that you want to help him to do, and how is it precisely that you can go about helping him do that? That’s what we’re going to be talking about. The goal here is to give you some simple, doable steps that can help you immediately begin discipling men, or make more disciples, as they case may be, because some of you, of course, are already doing this on a very regular basis.
With that in mind, I want you to be with me, if you would, at Second Timothy, chapter 2, verse 2. The first thing up is exactly how does Jesus want us to help men? Exactly how is it that Jesus wants us to help men? The situation, first, what is the situation that brought this text into existence? Paul is in prison in Rome, and very near the end of his ministry. Timothy is his protégé, his mentee, his disciple. It’s been about 10 years, or maybe a little bit more, since he first met Timothy. Timothy has been a disciple maker in the city of Ephesus for about 4 years. It’s about 4 years between the first letter to Timothy, and now a second letter 4 years later, and Paul is very near his death.
He will soon be beheaded in Rome. Nero is the king. Nero has burned down half the city. Some say that he’s using Christians as human torches and burning them all around Rome, so it’s a time of great suffering and tribulation. In this book, Paul says, “I have fought the good fight,” and than, that he’s finished the race.
What the situation has called this into existence is that, Paul is trying to communicate an expectation to
Timothy, that, “Hey, it’s going to be hard.” In fact, verse 1, talks about, “Be strong in the grace of the Lord,” and then in verse 3 it talks about enduring hardship as a good soldier. That’s the expectation, and what he’s trying to do is, he’s trying to be an encouragement. He’s trying to encourage Timothy to be faithful and to remain strong, strong in the grace of the Lord.
Then he goes on, in verse 2, and he says this, “And the things you have heard me say, in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men, who will also be able to teach others. Is there anything that we learned from this text that we would otherwise never know? That’s always a great question to put to a text, because many texts just repeat other things that are said in the Bible, but from time to time, you do find a text in Scripture, in fact many texts in Scripture, in which the text says something that you would otherwise never even know.
This is the place, this is the place where Paul gives us the principle of spiritual multiplication. Spiritual multiplication. Let’s take a look at this text in a little bit more depth. “In the things that you have heard me say, in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men …” What is obvious in this text? Now, you’ve heard me say this before, a poor message will take what’s obvious and make it obscure, but a good message will take something that’s obscure and make it obvious. A great message will make the obvious obvious.
What’s obviously going on in this text, is that Timothy has heard some things from Paul, and Paul wants him to build a team. You have heard some things … You have heard some things about God, and God wants you to build a team. He wants you to reproduce yourself to build a team. That’s what’s going on here in this text.
What does it mean to entrust, when it says to entrust these things to reliable men? It means to set before. It just means you’re not forcing people, you don’t have to force people, to do the thing that you want them to do. When you entrust them, it literally means to set before. You would just set the table, and then it’s up to the person to respond. You’ve heard me say this, too, if you’ve been here any length of time at all. God does not call us to produce a particular outcome, he calls us to be faithful. God calls us to be faithful, not to produce a particular outcome.
He’s looking for what kind of men? He’s looking for, it says, what kind of men? Faithful men. Set these things before, what kind of men? Faithful men. First Corinthians, Chapter 4, verse 2, is a very important text to man in the mirror. It says, “Now, to whomever is been given a trust, or a stewardship, he must be found faithful.” He must be found faithful.
I’ll tell you, it’s interesting, both in business and now in ministry, the most unpredictable part of my entire career … I’ve had a career now that spans more than 40 years, and absolutely, categorically, the most unpredictable part of my career is, who’s going to follow through? Who’s going to do what they said they would do. That’s it. That’s the most unpredictable thing in my life, is just who’s going to be faithful. Who’s dependable? Who’s going to do what they said they would do?
I have people, you know, make me promises, sometimes, a few times, with tears, I’ve had people make promises to me. Never see them again. Never see them again. Never hear from them again. You’ve had this happen too, so you know what I’m talking about. You know what a faithful man is, because you know what an unfaithful man is.
Entrust, or set before, take these things that you’ve heard and entrust them, set them before faithful men. One of the great biographies that I have read is the biography of Dwight L. Moody, the great evangelist in the 1800s, in the Chicago area, the official biography written by his son. He tells the story in there that, one time, Moody heard a man say that, “God has yet to see what can be done through a man who is wholly and fully consecrated to God.” Moody was lit up by that. He said, “I am a man.” He did not say a great man, a learned man, a rich man, a wise man, an eloquent man, a smart man. He just said, a man, and it lies within the man himself, whether or not he will make that full and total consecration.
I will try my utmost to be that man. What was he saying? I want to be faithful. I want to be faithful. I believe that you want to be faithful too, but there are a lot of distractions, of course, but I believe you want to be faithful. That’s why you come. I mean, why else would you get up and go to a Bible study at oh dark thirty so early in the morning. I know that this is what you want too.
The next thing here is, what are the qualifications of a faithful man? Now, there’s a word in the NIV that has thrown me, apparently, I didn’t even know it, but it threw me for a loop for 25 years. In the NIV it says, “Entrust these things to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others,” but the problem is, is that, in our culture, that word, qualified, it’s not the best word, because qualified means, in our culture, that you passed the test and you have the diploma. That’s not what it means in the original Greek language. All it simply means in the original language is, sufficient.
It just means sufficient. It means able, but it means sufficient. Listen, God did not design a plan that depends on the effort of an extraordinary man. You don’t have to have a diploma. It’s sufficient. It’s able. It’s fit. It’s enough. That’s what that means. You have no i- … You have no idea how this changed my whole paradigm of thinking, this week, as I’m studying this text. All these years, I’ve been reading qualified, and I’ve never actually exegeted the text until this week. Absolutely phenomenal!
What do we learn from this text that we would otherwise never know? That you are qualified! If you are breathing, you can be this man. If you are breathing, you can be this faithful man. Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness. Quiz, what would you rather have … Every coach knows the answer to this question. What would you rather have, a highly skilled player, who’s unpredictable, or an average skilled player, who you could absolutely count on every time?
Every coach will tell you the same thing, give me that average guy, that’s dependable, that I can count on, that faithful guy. That’s the kind of men that God is looking for. He’s not looking for the extraordinary, although He’ll take you if you are. He’s looking for ordinary men, who will be sufficient, who will be faithful. That’s the deal.
In short, what kind of man is this? This is a man who will care. In Bible speak, a faithful man is somebody who cares, who just will care about another man, care enough about another man, that he wants to help him. That’s what it means to be faithful, in Bible speak.
OK? Now, well, what are these things, then, that Timothy has heard? There was an oral tradition going on, but Paul was writing it down all the time. Paul is our theologian. Jesus is our visionary leader, but Paul is our strategic leader. Jesus told us what we’re supposed to do and why, but it’s Paul that helps us figure out how to go about doing it. He’s the strategist.
What are these things that Paul has passed along? Well, we know what they are now, because he’s written them down. They’re now inscripturated, you see? They’re inscripturated. Everything we need to know to be faithful is inscripturated, it’s written down. We have a written record of it now. This is awesome. There are three big chunky things that are involved in these heard things.
Number one is, how to have a relationship with God, number two is how to have a world view that’s Biblical, and number three, how to have a lifestyle that’s worthy of Christ. This is the big idea for the day, and it’s a long one, okay … It’s like 8 big ideas. All right? This is it. For you visitors, usually it’s like, try to keep it to 15 words or less, but this is not 15 words. Discipleship is one man, caring enough about another man, to help him build a relationship with God, a world view that’s Biblical, and a lifestyle worthy of Christ.
Jot this down. I’m going to give you a second just to jot this down. I want to talk, there are … Yeah, there’s a good idea, take a picture of it. For crying out loud, duh. Yeah. Actually, writing that out is good too, from a learning theory perspective. Helps screw it into the brain.
We have these three outcomes, you see. We have these three outcomes in discipleship. Discipleship is all about … Boy, I said that, and about 20 phone cameras came out. Great. Discipleship, it’s about one man, you, caring about another man, and that might be you too, to help and build this relationship, this world view, and this lifestyle.
Here, and you’ll be able to see that again if you haven’t got it down, let’s talk a little bit about these three outcomes, and when I say a little about these, I mean a very little about them. We can flesh this out over the series, but the first thing is the relationship with God. “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, then you will know the truth. People will know that you are really my disciples.” “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, then you can do significant things. Apart from me you can do nothing.”
Look, here’s my experience, and I bet it’s your experience too. There is a tendency in Christianity to think if we give men the right information, that everything is going to be all right. Look, think about it, if just having the right information would make you the man you want to be, we’d all be the men we want to be, because we already have heard all the information we need a thousand times, squared.
You already know everything, I mean, you’ve heard everything you need to hear. We spend, take a guess, what, 80% of our time just inundating men with information. If you just do this, if you don’t do that, if you follow this rule, this tradition. Here’s the regulation for you. Here’s how we can fix you and get your behavior all cleaned up, so that you can be the kind of man that God wants you to be, but guess what? The foundation of Christianity is a relationship with God, through Jesus, by faith, through grace.
What we really want to be focusing on, I think we should be focusing on in making disciples, is we should be spending 80% of our time with men, on helping them have relationship with God. We should switch this to the 20/80 to the 80/20, or is it the other way around? Anyway, you get the idea. Let’s spend most of our time, and that’s just a category, 80/20, whatever the percentage is. Most of the time, we should be focused on the relationship.
Listen, when Americans have a problem, we tend to ask this question, how do we fix this problem? Americans, we’re great fixers. When the Chinese have a problem, they ask a different question. They ask, what are the relationships we need to put into place to solve this problem? Do you see it? Do you see it? Score one for the Chinese!
Guess what? Where do you think they got that idea? They got that idea from Jesus. Jesus is the original guy who said, “OK, what are the relationships I need to put into place to fulfill my plan, to make fix my problems?” Hey, nobody ever faced more problems than Jesus, and nobody still faces more problems than Jesus. How does Jesus plan to fix his problems? He’s going to gather together a few men, and he’s going to build into their lives, and instruct them to go and do the same somewhere else, with some other guys, you see.
The relationship with God is very important, and also relationships with others, as well. It’s the first, and it’s the greatest commandment, to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, strength. Just think about it, the story of Jeremiah, in Jeremiah, Chapter 20, when he’s been beaten and put in stocks, and they let him out, and he said, you know, “God, I don’t understand you. All day long, I do what you ask me to do.” He was having the hardships that Paul was having, and he said, “All I get, I get insult and reproach,” and then he said, in verse 9, in Chapter 20, he said, “But, if I say, I will not mention him or speak any more in His name, His word is in my heart, like a burning fire shut up in my bones. I’m weary of holding it in.
Indeed I cannot!”
Now, that’s a guy who’s figured out how to have a relationship with God. I know you want to have that kind of passion. Don’t focus just on the information, be sure to focus on the relationship. Don’t just help men focus on … Look, if the relationship is where you actually feel close to God, then that’s what’s going to help the man who’s not as far along as you are yet, also feel close to God.
Then, the second one here is the world view. We all have philosophies, values and beliefs, and it is important to have the right information, so this is the doctrine, the theology, the biblical literacy, if you will. There are some non-negotiables in the Christian faith. In other words, there are some things a man really does need to know and believe in order to be a Christian, like the virgin birth, the resurrection of Jesus, justification through faith, the necessity of working out that faith in service. All of these things that are in the Bible, they’re there, and they are non-negotiables.
Now, look, a guy doesn’t have to believe them, but he can’t call himself a Christian if he doesn’t, so he needs to know what those things are. But, there are also many, many, many non-negotiables. Okay, you want to start talking about world view, Republican/Democrat. You could just stop right there, okay? Can you be a Republican and be a Christian? Yeah. Can you be a Democrat and be a Christian? Yeah. You see all the idiots that just said no?
Look, get a world view, baby! Get a biblical world view, you know? Here’s the thing, here’s the thing, we do tend to make non-negotiables … Excuse me, we tend to make negotiables into non-negotiables. Look, young Earth, old Earth. We had a guy come in here … He doesn’t come here anymore. I was making the point one day that Genesis 1, I do not believe was written for a scientific reading of the creation account, and I base that on the word, Yom, for day, Y-O-M, translated day.
Guess what? The word Yom translates, it could be a day, it could be a short period of time, it could be a long period of time, and it could be eternity. It’s used that way differently throughout the Bible. I don’t think that God intended Genesis 1 to be read scientifically. I think he meant for it to be read theologically. Okay? We had a guy who, for him, young Earth, a six day Earth, six literal day Earth, was a non-negotiable.
I said, “Hey, look, I’m not there. You could be right. It could be six days. It may well be six days. God could build … He could build time into … He can compress time. He could do that if He wanted to,” but I don’t know, and honestly, I don’t really think you know either. But for him, it was a non-negotiable, so he doesn’t come any more. He doesn’t come any more. Great guy.
Just figure out that when you’re helping a man have a world view that’s biblical, that it’s actually biblical. That it’s not based on some sort of cultural expectation, or tradition that you have, that you think is so important.
You’ll notice, around here, I do not engage in theological debates, which for centuries have remained unresolved, as though somehow, now, today, I, Pat Morley, am suddenly going to give you the real truth. There are thousands and thousands of scholars that can’t figure out these mysterious things.
Okay, the final thing is the lifestyle. Philippians 1:27 talks about living in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Lifestyle, there’s so many choices in lifestyle. You drive a new car, an old car, a little debt, no debt, private school, public school, Republican/Democrat, in terms of party affiliation, really nice yard, not that nice yard, I don’t care what my yard looks like that much, retire early, retire late. Look, there’s no one right answer for most of these things, and yet there is a tendency to try to teach guys that there is one right answer for these things.
The big idea here today is simply this, that discipleship is when one man cares enough about another man that he helps him build a relationship with God, a world view that’s biblical and a lifestyle worthy of Christ. Okay?
The final thing I want us to take a look at here … I know you care, you all care, but what can we do about this? Here’s the next step. The title of this message is “How One Cup of Coffee Could Change the World”. A cup of coffee is a metaphor for getting together. It could be lunch or breakfast, you know? What I would like to do, is tell you that my life changed because one man cared enough about me to invite me to go and have a cup of coffee, and that one event put in motion a series of other events that took place, that leads me to stand right here where I am today.
Most of you could probably tell the same story. Here’s the on the job training for you. This is the thing that I’m going to ask you to do. I’m going to ask you to go this week, before we come together again, and take somebody for a cup of coffee, or breakfast or lunch, or whatever it is. Okay, now, what do I talk about? What do I talk about? You talk about what you talk about with all the other people that you get together with.
You ask them how their kids are doing. You ask them how it’s going on the job. Ask them, “How’s your relationship with God?” That’s not a bad question. I usually ask it, “Where are you on your spiritual journey?” Either way, same thing. Just have a natural, authentic conversation. You don’t have to close a deal. You’re just having coffee. I think most of these men that are walking around so tired, they would just love it if somebody would just sit down and have a real, authentic, meaningful conversation with me.
Not one of those things where, I see it coming, I could feel it coming. I know there’s an agenda. No, no, no, no. Just go have a cup of coffee with someone, and get to know them, and ask them about their relationship with God, and see what happens.
I’d like a show of hands. How many of you would be willing to invite somebody for a cup of coffee, and will commit to do it, to be a faithful man? Don’t raise your hands, unless you’re going to be faithful to do it, please. This is not between you and me. This is between you and God, okay? How many of you will make a commitment … Remember Jason Bourne, the doctor, what was his name, he said, “Will you commit to this program? Jason Bourne, will you commit to this program?” That’s what we’re asking here.
Are you willing to make a commitment to have a cup of coffee with somebody in the next week? Raise your hands. Awesome. That’s just fantastic. All right, put them down. Now, let me ask you a question, and this will require a little bit of courage, but are you the guy that needs to be asked to have a cup of coffee? If you are, would you raise your hand. Just to see where you are.
Okay, all right, so we’re all on the team. You know, you’ve just been recruited to the team. Praise God. This is the big idea. This is what you’re going to do. It’s one man caring enough about another man to help him build … ?
A relationship with God.
A world view.
A world view that’s biblical. And?
A lifestyle worthy of Christ.
A lifestyle worthy of Christ. A cup of coffee is a great way to get that started. Let’s pray. Our dearest Father, thank you so much for this text, Second Timothy Chapter 2:2. Lord, we want to be those faithful men. We want to be entrusted, set apart with these heard things, and then pass them along to other men as we are able, and we ask for your help this week to do it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.