They say everyone needs a Paul, a Timothy and a Barnabas in their life.


I recently read that most people that attend church regularly have a “silent goal” of becoming a better Christian. That sounds good, except these same people have no plan in order to become a better Christian. This is like saying, "I’m going to lose weight but never exercising or going on a diet." Do you think this person will lose any weight Probably not. Discipleship matters but discipleship requires that we be intentional and that we choose to be in community.

They say everyone needs a Paul, a Timothy and a Barnabas in their life. We all need a Paul that is mentoring us or helping us become a better disciple of Christ. Someone that is investing in us on our faith journey.  

I had a great Christian man named Eldon that I spent about 2 hours with most weeks while we lived in California. We drank coffee, and he shared with me all that he knew the way we read in Acts 2:42 and Matthew 28:20. Eldon had served as a pastor in Canada, and he loves the Lord with all that he has.  He and his wife Jane kind of adopted us, and we spent a number of holidays with him and his family while we were away from our own family. He’s a retired gardener now, and we still continue to talk via email and texting. He is still sharpening me in Christ. Eldon is my Paul.

Ken Ansell

Timothy was someone Paul invested in. Timothy was a younger Christian, and Paul felt a responsibility or an obligation and made a commitment to intentionally spend time with Timothy. I have been blessed to have both a number of Timothys in my life and to be a Timothy to people like Eldon. Who do you know that needs someone like you to teach them, show them, pray for them and to encourage them in their faith with a relationship that spiritually matures them and glorifies the Lord all at the same time?!

For sure, we all need a Barnabas in our life. Barnabas was an encourager. We see some of his practical efforts in Acts 4 and 9. He was a sacrificial giver, a guy that had your back, he was called a “helper,” and in Acts 11:24 it says Barnabas “was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.” He was a man of action, courage and knew how to be a good friend. Can you think of people that have intersected your life and been a Barnabas to you and who could use you as a Barnabas? We all need cheerleaders encouraging us that we can “do it!” I have a good friend from the Houston area that tells me all the time, “Ken, I’m for you!” That means a great deal to me - I know my friend is cheering me on to be successful in all that I do!  Like the Lord, my friend is for me and not against me (Romans 8:31).

All of this starts with you and your faith, your walk with the Lord. Will you submit to being a Timothy? Would you step out in faith and be a Paul and will you build relationships with others in order to be a Barnabas? He asked me to ask you that. Happy Easter! Jesus is alive and that changes everything.