Dr. Howard Hendricks of Dallas Theological Seminary has said that each and every one of us needs three key people in our lives.
First, you need a Paul. That is, you need an older person who is able to be an example of faith. Not someone who has life all together. That person does not exist. But you need someone who has walked with God and is willing to share with you how they have grown through their successes and failures. Hebrews 13:7 reads, “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” You need someone who will establish the pattern of faith for you to follow.
Second, you need a Barnabas. Acts 4:36 interprets his name for us which means, “Son of Encouragement.” The Greek word there actually means to encourage by coming along side of the person. Everybody needs that “side-by-side” encourager.
Finally, you need a Timothy. You need to find a protégé whom you can help mature spiritually. If you want a model, look at 1 and 2 Timothy. There you see Paul, the quintessential mentor, building into the life of his protégé, Timothy. Notice the issues he addressed. Paul mentored him with teaching, prayer, encouragement, correction, direction and many other spiritual helps to his young disciple. Perhaps God will use you to impact the life of someone in student or children’s ministries this coming year. But you need to find to your Timothy!
Here at New Life, we offer 1:1 Discipleship where an older Christian walks side-by-side with a younger Christian so as to grow deeper in the faith. Click on the link below to download the Discipleship manual in your preferred language. Use the manual for your own personal growth or to disciple another believer. May you “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).