I’ve heard most my Christian Life, everyone needs a Paul, Timothy and Barnabas in your life. Paul, represents a mentor, Timothy represents a student and Barnabas represents someone who encourages.
I’ve been pondering this idea that I believe originated with Howard Hendricks years ago. When considering a discipleship relationship, I believe thinking in these designations is not that helpful. Imagine I come into a relationship with you and I am assuming, I am Paul. I’m going to help you grow in your faith. That thought will ultimately tarnish the relationship and make it top heavy.
I think what we need more than one of each of these in our lives, is to be all three to whoever we are in relationship with. Here is what I mean. During my time as leader of a men’s ministry, even though I may have more Bible knowledge than most the other men, in my relationship with them we were equals, peers from my vantage point. There were times I was coaching or teaching like Paul, but other times I was the student, learning from these men like a Timothy. We all took turns being Barnabas, or encouragers to each other.
Rather than looking for one of each, humble yourself and become all of them in your relationships with others!