Everyone needs a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy in life. This saying carries a pretty simple meaning, but when applied, it can be transformative. One way of explaining this would be to say, everyone needs a mentor, an associate, and an apprentice. We all need someone to build into our lives and mentor us, we all need someone who can labor and work alongside us, and we need someone to whom we can pass on the wisdom and knowledge God has given us. And we probably need more than just one person in each of these categories in our lives.
Yesterday was a significant milestone in my life as I was ordained in the gospel ministry. Getting to this point has no doubt been massive act of God’s grace. I am the man I am today because of God’s amazing work in my life – molding me, shaping me, prodding me, and forming me on a daily basis. However, there is no question that God has used other people in this process. I was grateful yesterday during the ordination service to have two of my mentors in attendance – David Klinsing and Bill Strader. These are men who over the past 3 years have made a point of building into my life and ministry.
One of my favorite verses is 2 Timothy 2:2. “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Paul invested a significant amount of time and energy into young Timothy, and now Timothy was instructed to do the same with other men. The bible is also full of gospel partnerships. In Acts, we see how Paul teamed up with Barnabas, and then later on with Silas and others. As gifted Paul was, he was never a one-man show. He worked side by side with hundreds of people, like Barnabas.
Do you have a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy in your life? If you don’t, there is no reason to get discouraged. Start praying about it and ask the Lord to send the right person(s) into your life. But let me clear – don’t let your search end with prayer. Be intentional about it. If God lays a person on your heart, then ask them. You might just find that the type of relationship you had in mind was exactly what they were looking for.
4 thoughts on “Everyone Needs a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy”
I was reading an article on how everyone needs a Paul (mentor) and a Barnabas (friend) and a Timothy (someone younger you’re investing in). I’m preparing for a little message that I’m giving at my church in July. Your article hit the spot. And guess what, I see the top, and I see this name and you are Daniel Stegeman, my old friend! ~ What an encouragement that you are still going strong and still being a blessing in the wider church community. Thank you for your help as writer/editor at pastoral-theology.com! I hope as a result of my message, my little church will be serious about having someone they can share with and will build in them and finding someone they can build into. Thank you.
James! So good to hear from you bro! Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. Glad you found this article helpful.
I had this proverb and ifound that I liked it to an extent that I had to come and know its inner meaning,thankyou for the information, surely Every Timothy has a Paul,and every Paul should too have a Timothy to bring him or her,may the Lord use me that I may become a Paul to someone,that’s what our God wants from us ,bringing someone stronger…
Thanks Habel! Yes, we can’t live the Christian life alone. We need brothers and sisters in Christ to come alongside of us. Most of all, we need the Holy Spirit of God to empower us.