The first ever Paul and Timothy Bible Conference, in Portland, Oregon, October 3-4, 2008.www.paulandtimothy.comRestoring the pre-eldership ministry of young men to the Church.In most churches today, the young man who heeds Gods call to ministry is faced with a dilemma. How can he gain experience in preaching the Word without disregarding the biblical qualifications of Elders or Deacons? Under the conventional approach, a gifted young preacher and Bible teacher can, if he chooses, enter directly into vocational ministry right out of Bible College or Seminary. But in doing so, he often skips past the season of managing his own household that normally serves to temper a young mans moral character and develop his competence in leadership. He is thrust by modern ministry demands into routines that undermine his biblical qualifications for church office. The younger the Bible College or Seminary graduate (e.g. ages 22 to 25) the more susceptible he will be to this trap. Pressed by the need to provide for a young family, yet relatively unskilled for other trades due to having invested completely in acquiring a theological education, he feels justified in making use of his training, whether or not he meets the biblical qualifications. The fact that so many churches currently do not hesitate to hire such young men as their pastors does not make it wise, and the casualties of treating the ministry as a simple career choice are unacceptably high. As young married Bible College and Seminary students ourselves, we experience this dilemma personally. We desire to help move our fellow students around this pitfall and safely into a ministry that will have the best possible foundation to go the distance over a lifetime.We are putting our ideas and convictions into action through The Paul and Timothy Bible Conference. We draw its name and its strategy from the relationship we see modeled by Paul and Timothy in the New Testament. It was to Timothy that Paul wrote, do not let anyone look down on you because you are young. But set yourself as an example of a believer. And yet it was also to Timothy that Paul wrote, Appeal to the older men as fathers. Clearly Timothy was young enough to have difficulty holding the respect of the older members of the churches and yet he was mature enough to serve effectively as Pauls associate. He was a young man in training alongside a seasoned man of God. From what we can tell in Scripture, Timothy was never thrust prematurely into church office, but he was exhorted to preach the Word. Hands were laid upon him by the elders and by Paul, but nowhere is he referred to as an elder. He was prepared for this service by preaching and teaching alongside Paul and under his personal coaching he was a preaching intern.