The Timothy Group

Leadership Training
 for Young Men

Timothy Group Blog

No Longer a Child

No Longer a Child

Wed Apr 17 2024

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. - I Cor. 13:11

Growing up happens in stages. But there are some common milestones along the way. Puberty, first job, moving out, starting a family. Sometimes, when we're between milestones the road seems less clear. Settle into a routine, boredom settles in and we reach for a little fun. Every boy asks "when do I grow up"? Well that's the cool thing... (stay tuned)

When do I grow up?

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. - I Timothy 4:12

Paul writes to Timothy, instructing him in how to interact with people of different maturity levels around him. This is a necessary skill for all of us. It's said that respect is earned, not given and there's some truth to that. "Let no man despise" is an exhortation to set an example and to demonstrate that competence and honesty which characterizes a well-rounded adult.

We never really "arrive" at that level of maturity that we're always looking forward to. The truth is, everyone's "faking it" to one extent or another. That's part of the adventure. You have to just do the thing, and learn as you go. So in that sense, we never "grow up" but are always reaching for that next level of growth.

Why do we play games?

There's a pietistic attitude towards amusements that it's all a waste of time. Video games, books, movies, music. The reality is that art, aesthetics, and culture are all part of the world we live in and are not divorced from the influence of our worldview. As a matter of fact, western culture and the world as a whole owe much of its innovation to principles built from the principles of Christianity.

Games and entertainment applied well are merely another training ground for adulthood. Teamwork, perseverance, application of various skills are all things that may start in a playground, but are necessary to a functioning society. Be intentional with your choice of activities and then give it your full effort while you can.

Embrace the Boredom: T-Shaped Skills

Even with all our modern opportunity for knowledge and practice, we find ourselves bored at times. The default behavior is to reach for the next dopamine source like a monkey. Like fasting though, the deprivation can be instructive if we allow ourselves to be bored. Artificial scarcity can make opportunity for further learning and growth.

This can sometimes take the shape of working on a task or project outside our primary interest. Woodworking or plumbing for someone more intellectually minded, or balancing books for someone used to working with their hands. Having even a modicum of awareness and proficiency in multiple areas will both make the individual more flexible, but also enhance their particular specialty. Our church like many others needed streaming and recording capability when the lockdowns came, and because I had invested time learning such technology for video game tournaments I was able to help develop that ministry opportunity.

Understand your moods and motivations with the help of friends and mentors, and then leverage them to increase your effectiveness.

Liberty and Purpose

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert

In the western world we throw around terms like "liberty" and "freedom", but these words don't mean "license to do whatever we want". In the "old world" it wasn't uncommon for people to be persecuted for following their convictions. The new world was hoped to give an opportunity of liberty such that people could live as they should. There is no meaning in raw hedonistic pursuits. Chasing personal pleasure will never satisfy or grant purpose and meaning. Every man and woman needs to be part of something bigger than themselves, and serve a higher purpose.

"He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." - 1 John 3:8

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" - John 1:12

Which way, oh man?

Learn more about how young men can develop character and leadership through programs like CHALLENGE.



Wed Feb 21 2024

"Infantry wins battles, logistics win wars."
John Pershing - General of the Armies

Logistics: the aspect of military science dealing with the procurement, maintenance, and transportation of military matériel, facilities, and personnel.

The art and science of logistics is a fundamental and arguably paramount component of any successful military, civilian, or individual enterprise. A high-level assessment of those 3 activities (procurement, maintenance, and transportation) applied to those 3 categories (matériel, facilities, and personnel) is worthwhile to consider. Conduct your own assessment at every scope that applies to you as an individual, team, or organization.



People and organizations struggle to spend money well. On the one hand, you could overinvest in things you don't need (though this can be a learning opportunity), and on the other hand you might omit important items that could have made you far more effective. Costs also aren't measured solely in monetary terms. For every piece of gear secured there has to be a cost-benefit calculation as well as a risk assessment. As a practical example: this multicam ruck matches my uniform better, and costs 4x the ACU (ick). If the funds are available then fine, splurge on the vanity. However, on a budget you could just as easily buy whatever's cheap and throw some spray paint on it to match your environment.


Ongoing costs should also be considered. How much ongoing support is needed? Are we capable of keeping up with it? The cheaper car is appealing on the surface, but if the money is going to come out in repairs and hassle anyway it might've been better to spend a little more up front (especially if those repairs are outside your own skillset).


In the field "ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain" as they say. How mobile are my resources? How mobile do they need to be? In finance the term is "liquidity". Do I need a rack of 5 personal rifles or should I have one or two that cover the right bases and move on?



Whether for housing, operations, or training everything needs a place. A point in time and space to appropriately conduct whatever mission you're called to for whatever timeframe is necessary. Often renting or borrowing space is appealing since it offloads much of the risk/liability of ownership and leaves greater mobility to the team. Sometimes this even makes more economic sense than owning space, and it's worth making a thorough assessment. Purchasing can also open up long-term economic opportunities (home ownership can be a type of forced investment, and real estate besides personal housing can also be a major investment vehicle).


Counting the cost should include longer term factors than the purchase price or monthly payment. What are utility costs like? Taxes? Repairs? What improvements will need to be made to support future objectives? A large part of these ongoing concerns should be your own capability/skillsets. What work can you do yourself, and what will you have to contract out? Sometimes you can save a buck by doing it yourself, but the return on hassle may not be worth it.


What happens when a change of location becomes necessary? Do you have a contingency plan for if you needed to relocate to another state/country? An emergency fund can cover much of this, as well as generally taking thought for essential infrastructure and resources you'd need were you to move housing or operations.



Building a team is hard. Sometimes your own personality can be your biggest blocker to building the right community. Start by finding support/leadership you can learn from either locally or by remote study and develop into your mission. Then, as you develop you'll gradually have opportunity to bring others along by sharing what you've learned to the next generation as it were.


"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly..." (Prov. 18:24a KJV) It's easy to take relationships for granted, but to remain effective we have to invest in them like everything else. Find ways to serve your people and look for opportunities for mutual support as you grow in your Christian walk.


In some ways people are the easiest thing to move. With the right motivation they'll mobilize on their own and get from a to b. In a pinch, locate housing, employment, and a church and a body is pretty well set. In a tactical context, we now get into speed vs stealth, dismounts, mobile firepower and the like. In either case, understand the mission and then you can grasp your mobility options.

Praising the Lord for a Strong Year

Praising the Lord for a Strong Year

Wed Jan 10 2024

By God's grace we held a sold-out Armed Defender course in February, a growing CHALLENGE: Basic, and relaunched our staff selection course and CHALLENGE: Extreme. With all of this, we've been blessed to stay cashflow positive as we continue to build on the legacy of the Timothy Group and the lessons and people that name represents.

For 2024 we're focusing on growing our Basic program while also running Armed Defender & staff selection. As of today dates are confirmed for all 3 events and registration will open shortly. Expect to see Extreme again in 2025.

Behind the scenes we're investing time into new training resources, mentoring up new staff, and expanding our digital marketing efforts. If you know young men in the 10-20 year age range that would benefit from CHALLENGE, send them our way!

Date Set for February carbine class

Date Set for February carbine class

Wed Dec 20 2023

Armed Defender: Tactical Carbine

In 2017 we developed an intense, 3-day training event including classroom, flat range, and force-on-force sections meant to be a "sampler platter" introducing many essential skills to intermediate shooters seeking to improve themselves. Since then we've updated the material, incorporated new technologies, and grown in size. Last year we sold out the pistol version, and expect to have to limit slots this year.

Citizen training can make it hard to see the categories of different skillsets around firearms, and how they interact with each other. Things like low light, team communication, working structures, medical skills; all of these things take an individual investment to master, but layering them together (as would occur in a real-world scenario) is even more difficult.

Additionally, the ATF in all their wisdom has begun to arbitrarily limit our access to key training materials and we may not be able to offer this format quite the way we should like in the near future. Take advantage while you can.

If you're interested in attending send us an email or reach out on our socials.



Wed Dec 13 2023

"'cuz most things true... are simple and complex" - Beautiful Mystery - Caedmon's Call

Opposites define each other, and tension and balance are necessary pieces of our physical and immaterial universe. By recognizing the complementary nature within dichotomies we can better apply ourselves correctly in thought and deed by a gracious smile or a fierce aggression as the situation may demand. Knowing the difference is the test.

Ambition and Contentment

Scripture calls us to "run the race", but also to "be content". How then are we to live? In truth, these are opposing concepts, but they are also complementary. Contentment is not to be laziness, but a gratefulness and recognition of what God has freely given to us and worked through us. Our ambition then, should be to pursue goals that advance his kingdom. Are you employed? Work to advance your workplace and improve your position. Are you single, and desiring to be married? Strive to become the person your future spouse can depend on. And with all your striving, give thanks.

Stress and Relaxation

In strength training there's an idea of stress (such as lifting a heavy weight) and recovery (getting protein and resting). Similarly to the dichotomy given before, these are both opposing and complementary, and we can apply this beyond training to our everyday lives. In a training context, the student needs to be pushed to a "novel" (new) level of physical or mental stress in order to provoke an adaptation. Given adequate recovery the body can adjust very quickly to meet the new (higher) standard of performance. Then the cycle begins again, and the intensity must be increased in order to inspire further progress. If you've attended CHALLENGE, you learned that you can operate at a higher intensity than is generally asked of you. If you can learn to call on that strength more often and pair that with proper recovery, you'll unlock a level of performance in work and life that will inspire those around you to great things.

Accountability and Independence

"To be a ring bearer is to be alone." - Tolkien

Man needs independence, but man is also not made to be alone. Build yourself up by surrounding yourself with good examples of Christian maturity and glean from their wisdom and experience. Learn from people you admire, people you agree with, people who make you uncomfortable, people willing to say what they believe, and people who don't care about your feelings.

As you learn and grow, you will learn to assess, adopt, and rearticulate things on your own. It's not enough to have grown up in a Christian family and memorized the answers to the bible questions. Do you fundamentally understand and believe those truths for yourself? How do you conduct yourself when you are your own accountability?

After you've surrounded yourself with role models, living or historical, think about friends or relatives who might be looking up to you. What kind of example are you setting for them? "Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright." (Prov. 20:11). Are you a worthy example? Find people to learn from, and model the path to those watching you (1 Timothy 5:1-2).

Strife and Peace

"...better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war," as the popular saying goes. Truly, we are called to be both warriors "always ready with an answer" (1 Pet. 3:15) and also to be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9). With experience and training one must learn to discern the right time for each. As proverbs says, don't answer a fool by mirroring his foolishness, but appropriately (Prov.26:4-5). In cultivating these two "opposites" each will be sharpened and the faithful believer finds themselves more strongly equipped to deal with not only the brethren ("iron sharpening iron"), but also the unbeliever.

CHALLENGE: After-Action Report

CHALLENGE: After-Action Report

Sun Oct 22 2023

Firstly, thank you to my home church Dominion Baptist, both to our individual supporters and alumni as well as to our church officers being available to be speakers (sometimes on short notice).

My wife Sydney and I have worked patiently since 2019 to reboot the Timothy Group and CHALLENGE, preserving the godly heritage and spirit spanning back over 20 years and seeking to address classic weaknesses of the ministry: finances, and marketing. By God's grace we not only only ran another successful CHALLENGE: Basic, but also restarted our advanced program CHALLENGE: Extreme this year. All of this while keeping our budget under control, and without requiring financial support from the church or self-funding from the staff.

At Basic we had 10 young men (up from 8 last year) including 4 junior or "intro" participants. Operating on the theme of "Purpose and Meaning" we heard 4 messages from men of 3 separate churches on Purpose and Meaning in Spite of Suffering, Purpose and Meaning in the Family, Purpose and Meaning in the Church, and Purpose and Meaning in Christ.

Extreme is a program that hasn't been available since 2015, and before that 2010. As I've told many of you, most of the quality leadership training I've benefitted from in the Timothy Group happens after graduating basic (at Extreme and Selection). We had 5 exceptional young men graduate Extreme this year and it was an honor and a privilege to see them work through the problems we presented to them. We committed to running this event even at a loss, and by God's grace we still broke even on the year. Our theme for Extreme was "Find Your Mission" and we heard on Prerequisites for Finding a Mission, How to set long-term goals and ambitions, How to assess my gifts and abilities, and How do I know that I'm in God's will.

Looking to 2024 we're already planning our staff selection course, CHALLENGE: Basic in the fall, and a skills-based firearms class in February. Strategically, we will also be focusing on our communication and marketing using resources that God has provided through my day-job at a Christian digital marketing agency. Lord-willing we will shore up that pillar and continue our labor to grow the ministry.

While prayer and financial support are welcome (and necessary) our biggest need is still getting the word out and getting folks signed up for CHALLENGE. If you know young men around the ages of 10-20 they need this program.

In our modern society, it often seems we've forgotten what it is to be hungry. To be driven to do hard things and work under pressure. CHALLENGE is always a reminder that God has equipped us for greater things than punching our physical and spiritual clock, and that true service requires sacrifice and struggle.

Independence, Endurance, and Leadership

Independence, Endurance, and Leadership

Fri Aug 11 2023

Keys to Spiritual and Personal Growth

Nurturing Spiritual Independence and Maturity

In the journey to manhood, the desire for independence naturally grows within every young man. However, true independence goes beyond mere physical autonomy; it requires the development of spiritual maturity. In 1 Corinthians 13:11 Paul speaks to the natural shedding of childish ways and makes a parallel between our physical growth and our spiritual walk. Growing up in the church, it’s easy to simply conform to expectations or adopt religious practices without genuine spiritual growth. Therefore, discipleship becomes essential both within and outside the church walls, enabling us to reason, endure, and develop a more profound faith.

Embracing Suffering as a Catalyst for Growth

While suffering is an inevitable part of life, it serves a purpose in shaping our character. Just as dopamine and serotonin influence our motivation and contentment, our experiences of success and failure play a role in molding our resilience and determination. In Romans 5, we discover that suffering ultimately leads to the development of character. Moreover, Hebrews 12:1 encourages us to lay aside burdens and sins, empowering us to run the race of life with endurance. By accepting the critical importance of enduring hardship, we can find the motivation to strive for victory and embrace growth even in the face of adversity.

Leading by Example: Inspiring the Next Generation

Leadership can manifest itself in unexpected ways, as we unknowingly become examples for those younger or less experienced than ourselves. This responsibility extends not only to our peers but also to our elders, as outlined in 1 Timothy 5. By setting a positive example, we have the power to inspire others to advance in various areas, such as faith, industry, and the spread of the gospel. As we lead (including "up the chain of command" as Extreme Ownership puts it), it becomes crucial to cultivate confidence and effective communication skills, enabling us to fulfill this command with grace, humility, and righteous aggression.

Readiness and Maturity: The Path to Growth

The instructions for the first passover feast emphasized eating with "your belt fastened" or "your loins girded,". This gives us insight into the importance of readiness, maturity, and a sober mind. Just as the USMC recruiting poster illustrates the transformative impact of rigorous training on a young soldier's countenance, intentional and challenging training can instill physical and spiritual maturity in individuals. Through the sharpening of one another, as emphasized in Proverbs 27:17, we can guide and inspire the growth of good men and women by fostering purposefulness, seriousness, and confidence.


Developing independence, enduring through trials, leading by example, and cultivating readiness and maturity are essential aspects of personal and spiritual growth. By embracing these principles, we not only strengthen ourselves but also inspire those around us to strive for greatness. As we navigate our individual journeys, let us embrace the responsibility to guide, uplift, and sharpen one another, fostering a community marked by resilience, purpose, and unwavering faith.

Every Day Carry: "EDC"

Every Day Carry: "EDC"

Wed Jun 21 2023

I think most boys remember their first pocket knife. Plenty that I know still carry blades they are proud of. From clever or well-built designs to large fixed blades, there's just something manly and utilitarian about carrying a good blade. As we get older we add other things to our every day carry or "EDC". Medical has become a much bigger focus of mine over the years. With training, lethal and less-lethal defensive tools are also very important. Send us an email with some of your most important EDC items.

Gratefulness vs. Ambition

Gratefulness vs. Ambition

Wed Jun 07 2023

Scripture calls us to be grateful. It does *not* call us to idleness. So where does ambition fit in? I Corinthians 7:21 tells us that we may be called while being a servant, and that that's ok. It also says "if you can be free, then do so". Our physical bodies were built to need both dopamine (desire, drive) and seratonin (gratefulness, satisfaction). Take time to thank the Lord for what you have, and then get up and labor to grow and steward it even better.

Find the Low Hanging Fruit

Find the Low Hanging Fruit

Wed May 10 2023

Not sure what career you should choose or what you should study? Sometimes just finding the next bit of work and doing it is all that's needed for today. Find the low hanging fruit: get a job, learn a skill, work actively in your church. As you build your skills and experience, more options will open to you, but find useful work and do it.

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