Lesson 4: I Got Your Back
1. To help students understand the relationships between Paul, Timothy and Epaphroditus
2. To have students recognize loyal and sincere relationships in their lives
3. For students to become genuine brothers and sisters in Christ
Caring, Encouragement, Fellowship, Friendship, Relationships, Trust, Teamwork, Unity
Philippians 2:20, Philippians 2:25-30
OPENING PRAYER (5 to 10 minutes)
GROUP BUILDING (10 minutes)
How Do Others Read Me (Ice Breaker) Click here
GETTING STARTED (10 minutes)
We have already learned how Paul loved the Philippians and had a close relationship with them. Today, we will learn about the close relationship Paul had with two special people. First, let’s think about some special people in our lives.
Who Cares? (Part 1)
Why did you pick each person?
Be ready to share why you chose at least one of these persons.
(Give the students a few minutes to think it through and write down their people. Write yours, too. After they’ve had time, go around the room and get an explanation of at least one person on each person’s list.)
DIGGING IN (30 minutes)
Read Philippians 2:19-24
1. What do we know about Timothy from this passage? List some of the things mentioned. (Paul had no one else like him, Timothy took genuine interest in the Philippians’ welfare and had proven himself.)
2. What is the relationship between Paul and Timothy? (He was like a son to Paul and had served alongside him.)
3. How does Paul want to use Timothy? (He will be sent soon.)
4. If you could sum up Timothy in one word, what word would you choose? (Meant to stimulate discussion.)
Read Philippians 2:25-30
1. What do we know about Epaphroditus from this passage? List some of the things mentioned. (He longs for the Philippians, he is distressed because the Philippians heard he got sick and almost died.)
2. What is the relationship between Paul and Epaphroditus? (Paul calls him this brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier.)
3. How does Paul want to use Epaphroditus? (Paul is eager for him to return to Philippi and be welcomed with joy.)
4. If you could sum up Epaphroditus in one word, what word would you choose? (Meant to stimulate discussion.)
It is obvious that Paul trusts Timothy and Epaphroditus. What he says about the two of them is glowing and complimentary. They were more than mere acquaintances: they were confidants. They had Paul’s back and he had theirs. The whole Bible is full of such relationships.
5. How many relationships like this can you name in the Bible? (Examples: Abraham and Lot, Joshua and Caleb, David and Nathan, Esther and Mordecai, Mary and Martha, Peter and John, and David and Jonathan)
6. What is the significance of these types of relationships being all over the scriptures? (Our relationship with Christ influences our relationships with others.)
Workbook Activity (10 minutes)
Who Cares (Part 2)
• Where would you be in life without those people?
MAKING IT REAL (10 minutes)
Our Christian relationships, even with each other in this group need to be like that of Paul, Timothy and Epaphroditus. Like Paul, something imprisons all of us. As we deal with life, we need to have people who we know have our back. At the same time, we need to be people who others can trust. We need to provide for the needs of others, to be the type of people who watch out for our brothers and sisters. And the time to start is right now.
CLOSING PRAYER (2 minutes)
Partners in Prayer
Split into groups of two. If an odd number of students, one group can consist of three. Have the students share prayer requests or personal needs with each other. Instruct them to share something they need help with, and encourage them not only to pray for each other, but to help where possible and to keep tabs on how each other is doing in the days that follow.
After a few minutes, bring them back together as a whole group.