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To whom will you pass the baton?

Passing the baton is a saying often associated with leadership.

It has its roots in a relay race where a team of runners compete to win a prize. Each runner carries the same baton (stick) and passes it on to the next runner. This exchange must take place in a transition zone where the two runners run side by side while the current runner passes the baton to the next runner.

In leadership, it is imperative that the next generation is prepared to successfully carry the baton ‘til the next runner can come alongside and carry on the work.

In 2 Timothy, the great apostle Paul is writing from the Mamertine prison in Rome. Knowing his life was about to end, Paul gives his final instructions to the young pastor, Timothy. He is in the transition zone of the relay race, and it is very important to transition smoothly without dropping the baton. The gospel of Jesus Christ was successfully carried on in Ephesus and has continued to carry on for more than 2,000 years, making a tremendous impact on our lives here in little Farmville.

In 2 Timothy 3-4, the Bible speaks of the importance of knowing and understanding the sacred scriptures and properly teaching them to the next generation. The church of the living God is the pillar and support of the truth. Pastors are retiring, dying or quitting all over the country. Who will come alongside and carry on the work? Thankfully, I am seeing a tremendous group of young men who are preparing for this very important work, would you consider joining them?

The good news of the gospel still brings hope to the sin-scarred life of all who call on the name of the Lord. Young Timothy had a grandmother and mother who taught him the scriptures, his father was an unbelieving Greek.

Some of you have been gifted with tremendous mentors who taught you the scriptures since childhood. As a young adult, are you continuing your training in righteousness, or are you squandering countless hours on body image, Hollywood news or social media? Are you now an elderly Christian full of valuable life experiences and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures? Then you know what the Bible tells you about the greater value of teaching the next generation over the time spent restoring that old Ford Mustang, unless of course you can do both at the same time.

How about saving a few extra dollars to help send a grandchild to Bible School? Our lives here on earth will shortly come to an end, our final lap of the race is coming. Who is running alongside you today? To whom will you pass the baton? Look around you, find ways to pour into our youth, and begin the wonderful role of training in righteousness. And may we hear our Lord say, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

MARV FISHER is the pastor at Calvary Chapel Farmville and can be heard weekdays at 1:30 PM on 105.3 Equip FM radio. He can be reached at pastor@ccfarmville.org.