Paul, a founding Father of the Christian church had a significant workload of spreading the story of Jesus throughout the Roman empire in the early first century. Yet, he dedicated time to mentor a young Greek man named Timothy. We discover their story in Acts, chapter 16.
“Paul came first to Derbe, then Lystra. He found a disciple there by the name of Timothy, son of a devout Jewish mother and Greek father. Friends in Lystra and Iconium all said what a fine young man he was. Paul wanted to recruit him for their mission. As they traveled (together) from town to town, they presented the simple guidelines the Jerusalem apostles and leaders had come up with. That turned out to be most helpful. Day after day the congregations became stronger in faith and larger in size.”
Paul was an excellent mentor to Timothy
#1, Paul intentionally pursued the relationship. He saw the potential in Timothy and made the mentorship happen. Do you ever feel a nudge to reach out? Have you taken the first step toward making it happen?
#2, The task and the events Paul and Timothy did together were an “opportunity” to invest in Timothy’s life. Throughout the New Testament we see Timothy’s name show up next to Paul’s. They went on all kinds of adventures and Paul used the time together to mentor Timothy. What opportunities can you use to invest in someone else? What skills/passions do you have that you want to share with someone else?
#3, Paul and Timothy did life together. The story is simple: Paul finds Timothy, tells him he wants to recruit him, and off they go. Now Timothy gets to watch Paul preach, teach, heal, encourage, etc. How do you enter into a teenagers world? How do you make yourself available for them to see your life?
#4, Timothy became who Paul mentored him to be and then reminded Timothy to set an example to the next generation. He said, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
What is your story of mentoring?
Parents: What stories will your teenage son or daughter tell about you? Adults: What stories will a teenager who you decided to mentor tell about you? Students: What stories will someone younger than you tell about you some day?