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Core 52 Chapter 46 - Mentoring

Paul.
Barnabas.
Timothy.

Three distinct men. Three unique roles. Three specific needs.

I don’t recall the first time I heard about the correlation with these three men and the model of discipleship they convey to us, but I have used it many times over the years in challenging others to find these people in their lives.  Everyone needs a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy.  Let me explain.

Paul – teacher of teachers; carrier of the gospel to the Gentile world; church planter; full of wisdom and the Spirit and knowledge; impact measured not by the length of his life, but by the expansion of the Kingdom and development of church leaders during his time

Barnabas – name literally means, “son of encouragement”; travelling companion and partner with Paul; behind the scenes pusher of Paul; took Paul, the uncertain new convert, and helped him become Paul, the world changer

Timothy – young disciple; grew up in “church” and had the knowledge, just needed the wisdom and encouragement often found only through the experience of others. Soaked up the words of those influential leaders around him and became a worthy and honorable teacher and leader in the church.

One taught. One encouraged. One learned.  We all need this. Every day. For the rest of our lives.

We need to be taught. We need someone who can teach us the truth of the word of God. We all need someone we can rely on to convey the truth to us in such a way as to make it understandable, comprehensible and practical. We all need someone who will point out our mistakes, tell us when we are wrong and give us more when we get it right. We all need a Paul.

We need to be encouraged. We need someone who can make us smile.  We all need someone who will reach down to us and pull us up after we fall. We all need a cheerleader. We all could use a good “push” every once in a while to try something out of our comfort zone.  We need someone to remind us of God’s grace, God’s forgiveness and God’s calling. We all need a Barnabas.

We need to invest. We need someone to share our experiences. We all need someone to share our mistakes with in hopes of them learning from our “hard way,” instead of their own. We all need someone who needs to be taught a little more than what they think they know.  We all need someone to see our humble example of what it means to be a Christ follower. We all need to correct someone when correction needs to be made. We all need a Timothy.

Three distinct roles. Three unique responsibilities. Three specific opportunities.

May we all find our inner “three-headed-personality” and be both “blessed” and a “blessing” because of it.

- Pete Ramsey