“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, putting me into service.” 1 Timothy 1:11
It is a function of leadership to stock a team with quality players. The ability of a leader to spot latent potential is key. Long term success of an organization rests with orderly seamless transitions of power over time. Christ Jesus our Lord chose Paul for a critical role on his team, even though at the time he was a “violent aggressor” against the Christian church.
While Paul stormed from house to house dragging Christians to prison, the Lord supposed he would be perfect to propagate the gospel to the Gentiles. So he tapped him on the shoulder and placed him in that role. To pull it off, though, he needed to strengthen or empower him, a simple act for the Lord, and Paul was instantly changed from taunter to teacher. Every true believer should have some sort of “U-turn” experience in his past.
Then when the Ephesian church was badgered by false teachers, Paul had to counter through his surrogate Timothy. He spotted potential in this young man despite a streak of timidity and perhaps some ill-health. All rested on Timothy’s shoulders now, but Paul trained him well.
Discipleship is all about seeing a diamond in the rough. Diamonds are formed under pressure, i.e. are first tested, and they are perfected sometimes by a single cut of the gemologist’s tool. Not only must one be discerning enough to determine who is ready to be a committed disciple, but skilled enough to make the precision cuts necessary to chip away the flaws that would hinder effective ministry.