In the New Testament, there are five mentions of a man that you may be unfamiliar with. I wasn’t familiar with him. Honestly, I had read his name often but did not recognize his significance. He’s mentioned in Acts 20:4, Ephesians 6:21, Colossians 4:7, 2 Timothy 4:12, and Titus 3:12.
His name was Tychicus.
And he’s quite forgettable within all the narrative of the New Testament.
He appears near the end of Paul’s mission work in Ephesus. He had been selected to deliver several letters for Paul. He was with the former runaway slave, Onesimus, when he converted and went to Colossae. Could he have witnessed the riots that started with Demetrious the silversmith whose business was impacted by Paul’s sermons on idol worship? Possible. Could he have been Paul’s scribe for some of the letters in the New Testament? Possible. Could he have been trusted to deliver more letters than we know? Also, possible.
Throughout the second half of Paul’s ministry, Tychicus was likely present for nearly every significant event. Yet, he was in the background. He became forgettable.
We live in a society that demands we are remembered. Social media imprints, how we dress, High School reunions, our speeches and volunteer work, board meetings, medals and decorations with a few promotions thrown in…all ways where we strive to be remembered. We are seeing the creation of “mini-celebrities” in an effort for all of us to be remembered in some capacity.
Even within the church.
Some leadership structures allow Pastors to have celebrity status. Others create titles for ministry leaders that lead to elevation of status. Social media platforms embellish ministry work or community impacts. Slowly, we become enamored with our own voice and status and forget about the voice of the One we should be most reliant on.
Yet, the church needs more servants like Tychicus. Ones who want the Gospel known but don’t care if they ever are. The ones who do seemingly tedious work in order to advance the Kingdom, but aren’t seeking their own recognition.
This week I’ll be praying that each of us can be more like Tychicus…that we become forgettable.