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.