Challenge 18 Living God’s way


The story shown in bold is explored in full in the Big Bible Challenge book

Stories in this challenge

Leading the church               1 Timothy 3:1–13

Belonging to God                  1 Timothy 6:11–19

Working for God                    2 Timothy 2:14–26

God’s Word                          2 Timothy 3:10–17

Being ready                           1 Thessalonians 5:1–11


COMMON tips for this and every challenge

  • Always have a Bible in a child-friendly translation available, as you take the Big Bible Challenge. Even when the Bible verses are printed in the Big Bible Challenge book, find them in a Bible as well. This will help the child gain confidence in handling the Bible and become familiar with its size and number of pages.
  • Finding your way around the Bible can be a challenge in itself! Each reading from the Bible is shown in a certain way, like this:

Genesis 2:15–22.

  • Use the Index or Contents page of the Bible to help you find the book (or books) in the Bible for the readings in this challenge. In this example, the book title is ‘Genesis’.
  • Each book of the Bible is in chapters. In this example, the reading is in chapter 2.
  • Each chapter is split into verses. In this example, the verses are 15–22. In most Bibles, the verse numbers are printed very small.
  • Many of the challenges have five readings from the same part of the Bible, so use a bookmark to keep your place and it will be easier to find the Bible reading next time.
  • The Bible consists of many ‘books’ collected together and presented as one. See if you can work out what sort of ‘book’ you are exploring: is it history or is it a letter? Are you reading words spoken by a prophet or written as a song?
  • Spend time looking at and chatting about the artwork in the Big Bible Challenge. Find out more online in ‘How does the Big Bible Challenge work?’
  • When you have finished this challenge, use the simple evaluation sheet [here: hyperlink]. Find out more online in ‘How does the Big Bible Challenge work?’


COMMENCE: your introduction to this part of the Bible

In every sphere of life leaders make a difference. As the church grows, so good leadership becomes an important issue: it needs leaders who will ensure that it remains true to its calling as the people of God. They are to be people of good reputation: character is key and Paul sets the bar high (1 Timothy 3:1-13).

One of the key tasks of the leader is to ensure that those in the church have a good understanding of truth – and that is centred on the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:14-17). Paul would have been thinking of the Old Testament but we can legitimately include the New Testament as well.

Teaching is not for the sake of academic learning. It is to ensure that Christians know what they believe. Leaders are to take care of the church (1 Timothy 3:5). Teaching needs to be relevant and address those issues that are causing difficulties in the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:11). There was a great deal of speculation about the return of Jesus, particularly about when it would happen. Paul wants his readers to understand that this exciting event will definitely take place.

Leadership, in whatever capacity, is a high calling (1 Timothy 3:1), but it is not an easy task. It involves hard work and diligent study (2 Timothy 2). Leaders are required to set an example to the church (1 Timothy 6:3-21). They may well be called to suffer (2 Timothy 3:10-12; 4:6-8).

Paul outlines the high standards to be expected from church leaders in terms of personal character traits and family affairs, as well as their reputation within their local community.



CONNECT: the five stories in this challenge

Paul was always keen that God’s people should be given clear Christian teaching so that they could understand what God has done for them and know how he wants them to live. For this they needed good church leadership and Paul was thorough in the way he trained people to take over this work. These passages, taken mostly from Paul’s letters to Timothy, encourage the young man in his role as a church leader and help to clarify some difficult teaching.

It would be best to read the passages in this order:

1 Timothy 6:11–19

1 Timothy 3:1–13

2 Timothy 2:14–26

2 Timothy 3:10–17

1 Thessalonians 5:1–11

 CONSIDER: what this challenge means today

Timothy was a young protégé of Paul’s and Paul was eager for him to be a good Christian leader. He knew that Timothy had had a sound upbringing based on a love of the Scriptures and the lifestyle that went with it. This is the opportunity to encourage your child to develop a similar eagerness for God’s Word and to know that this can help them to be workers for God, now and in the future.

There are a number of ‘pictures’ in these passages that you could pick out to help the child access some of the difficult teaching:

  • fighting a good fight (1 Timothy 6:11–19)
  • using dishes (2 Timothy 2:14–26)
  • darkness and light (1 Thessalonians 5:1–11)


CLARIFY: issues that may arise from this challenge

Who was Timothy?

Paul first met Timothy in Lystra (see Acts 16:1). He was a Jew (having a Jewish mother) but he had a somewhat cosmopolitan background as his father was Greek. He was obviously a talented young man, highly thought of and with leadership potential. Paul and his companions took him with them on their journeys and we hear of him in various places during their adventures, as recorded in Acts. During this time, Paul would have been training and encouraging him in leadership roles and eventually he became leader of the church at Ephesus. Paul did not desert him, though, as he kept in touch by his letters: documents that can help and encourage us too.


COMMUNICATE: talk with God

Explain to your child that you are reading the Bible together as this is one of the ways in which God speaks to us and directs us. Ask your child to choose a verse that they have read recently and found helpful, maybe Romans 8:39, Galatians 5:22, Ephesians 6:10, Philippians 4:4 or 4:6. Help your child to write this verse, and the Bible reference, on pieces of paper, one word on each piece. Spread out the papers so that you can read the whole verse. Then turn over one piece and see if you can say the whole verse again. Keep turning over more and more pieces and repeating the verse. See if you can say the whole verse with no word-clues! Praise your child for learning this – and remind them that it’s not just a memory game: it’s a way to think more about how God wants us to live our lives and where we can find his help, when we need it.

Suggest that they use it as a prayer when they need help or encouragement during the next few days. If your child enjoys this, why not suggest that they choose more verses to learn, maybe one from each challenge. Maybe you could do the same and see who learns the most!

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