Healthy Leaders


How to Write a Letter to an Emerging Leader

Brent HooverBrent Hoover

Paul’s second letter to Timothy is heartfelt, encouraging, challenging, and instructional – and a great example for writing letters. 

In 2 Timothy 1:1-14 we can clearly see the how Paul built Timothy, repeating essential themes many times in his letters. As you go forward in building emerging leaders, consider the following categories of encouragement, challenge, instruction, and relationship (text taken from The Message). 

You are to me:

the son I love, (2)

the one I pray for (3)

We together:

shed tears at our last goodbye (4)

will be full of joy when we meet (4)

Remember God’s grace to you in the past:

your faith is precious (5)

your mother and grandmother passed it on (5)

you received a gift for ministry (5)

My challenges to you:

keep your gift from the Spirit ablaze (6)

don’t be ashamed to speak up (8)

take your share of suffering (8)

My reminders to you:

you received a gift of power and love (7)

we keep going by God’s power (8)

He has called us to this work (9)

our salvation is a gift from Him (9)

we had nothing to do with it (9)

Jesus defeated death (10)

Jesus vindicated life (10)

Jesus did this in a steady blaze of light (10)

I testify to you my faith:

This is the message I have been sent to proclaim and it’s the reason for all my troubles (11-12)

I am sure of this:

Jesus is trustworthy and will takes care of everything (12)

My final challenge to you:

Hold to the pattern of sound teaching that you heard from me (13)

Guard this Gospel which has been entrusted to you by the power of the Holy Spirit (14)

In today’s world of digital communication, a handwritten letter carrying these themes carries a lot of weight and meaning, and may be kept for many years by the one who receives it.

Now take a page out of Paul’s book and write one to the emerging leader in your life!

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