Time Out: Who is your “Paul?”

Topic / Time Out

Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)

Howard Hendricks says that everyone needs a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy in their life. A “Paul” is someone who is spiritually mature and experienced to give wisdom and guidance. A “Barnabas” is an encourager and a peer and to share common experiences with as we journey through life together. A “Timothy” is someone younger in the faith to invest into. We need all 3 in our lives. The hardest relationship to develop, by far, is the “Paul” mentoring relationship. Finding someone with the time, experience and heart to build into your life isn’t always easy. I always had trouble finding men to fill this role in my life when I was younger. Now I look for “Timothy‚Äôs” God sends my way so I can pass on some of what I have learned. It’s one of the most rewarding aspects of ministry.

We all need a Paul to hold us accountable, to ask the tough questions, to go through with us whatever are going through, to give encouragement and direction. The lone sheep gets picked off by the lion, so we need to connect closely those who have experience fighting the lion (I Peter 5:8). Busyness, pride, fear of disclosure, moving around a lot and other issues make it hard to find and keep a “Paul” relationship going in life, but it is well worth the trouble. It takes a bit of sacrifice and vulnerability. It requires time and honesty. But its essential for you to be all God created you to me as a person and servant. Remember, even Paul needed a “Paul” in his life.

2 Timothy 1:3-6, “I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

Exodus 18:13-14, “The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, ‘What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?'”


  • Who is your “Timothy?” Who are you taking the time to really disciple in the faith?
  • Who is your “Barnabas?” Who is your closest ministry friend (not spouse) with whom you can share your victories as well as your defeats?
  • Who is your “Paul?” What mature believer have you developed a mentoring relationship with so you can regularly connect with them to glean from their wisdom and experience?
  • If you lack any of these make that a regular prayer request.
  • What can you do to deepen your “Paul” relationship and get the most out of it?


Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!

Posted on April 28, 2008

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