Need of Fathers

kpittman on Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:11 am

Yesterday, I had a white chocolate mocha with an old friend who set out a decade ago to affect the business community of his city for Christ.

God graciously granted him a reasonably fruitful ministry. Along the way, however, his marriage fell apart. “Kenny, if I had had a Paul in my life, my marriage would not have failed.” As he spoke, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 4:14

“Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.” (See 1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1; Philippians 3:7; 4:9)

QUESTION: Do you currently have a Paul in your life? Someone who knows the real you? Someone who challenges you? Someone who models godly character and discipline, and builds them into your life? Someone who lends a more mature perspective to your life? Someone who has earned your trust enough to probe the sensitive and hidden areas of your life? Someone who is committed to walking with you through the difficult times? In a word, a Paul. A spiritual father.

BARNABAS (“Encourager” – Acts 4:36) was used of God to bring Paul out of Antioch and into a fruitful ministry where the two of them teamed up. (Acts 11:25, 26) (See Acts 11:30; 12:25; 13:1, 2, 14, 43, 46, 50; 14:1-3, 23; 15:12, 22, 34)

QUESTION: Do you have a Barnabas in your life? A buddy with whom you can freely share the good, the bad, and the ugly? Someone who will tell it like it is when you don’t want to hear it? (Proverbs 27:6) Someone who is committed to hanging in there with you through thick and thin?
(Proverbs 17:17; 18:24)

TIMOTHY: In his travels, Paul ran into a young follower of Christ named Timothy (Acts 16:1-4). For the next decade or so, the Apostle invested deeply into his life. Reflecting back on their friendship, Paul wrote,

“You… know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me… the persecutions I endured… ” (2 Timothy 3:10, 11a,c) (See Acts 20:18)

In similar fashion, Paul encouraged Timothy to also invest his life into others: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2) (See 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 6)

QUESTION: Do you have a Timothy in your life? Someone into whose life you are currently investing?

Having a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy in our life will indeed play a significant role in (1) fostering our growth toward spiritual maturity, and (2) helping us fulfill Christ’s Great Commission.

QUESTION: Why is it so hard to find faithful spiritual fathers to direct us, faithful brothers to truly encourage us and seek sons to genuinely pour into?


  1. I am in a study of the new testament thru Koinonia House and your article here was very encouraging. I had never thought of the apotles like you put it so clearly here.

    Thank You.

  2. Jimmie Culbreth

    Accountability among true Christian brothers and sisters is paramount. The bible says in Proverbs 27: 17, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” We need each other so that we may stand as one in Him.

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