Dear Friend of Vision
“And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” (Col. 4:17)
I am afforded the privilege of speaking at many graduations each year. More than once I have used this passage as a text to preach from, as it is so appropriate for a graduate.
Archippus was a fellow laborer with Paul. The meaning of his name is Keeper of the Horse, and horse keeping was a noble profession. Most likely, Archippus was a Roman citizen, though we are not for certain on this, but was clearly a called and anointed leader in Colossae.
The reason Paul singles out Archippus is also unclear, but he must have had some concerns about this younger leader. At some point, he had, most likely via a prophetic word, been given and assignment and gifts directly from the Lord. He also may well have had some special talents that, when submitted to the Lord, would be of great benefit to the church. Paul’s concern seems to be one of priorities…concern that Archippus could be distracted from his primary call, not necessary leading to worldliness, but becoming so bogged down with the urgent that the necessary and important gets neglected in the process.
Whatever the concern, as leaders we often have concerns about our congregants or students…and we need not be shy about sharing our hearts with them, even giving them warning as needed. One thing is certain, Paul cared for this young man and wanted him to be successful…with success being measured by fulfilling one’s ministry call more than anything else.