3 Types of Friends Every Christian Needs

{By Samantha Nicole}

I’ve been pondering friendship a lot lately. As a young adult, my life is still in its developing stages, and to be honest, I never really know what’s going to be thrown at me next.

It can be hard to deliberately make lasting friends and come alongside sisters-in-Christ.

how to be a good friend Christian friends

Recently, I was reminded of something my dad used to tell me.

“Every person needs three friends: a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy”.

No exceptions. Wherever you are, you should be striving to have those three people (big huge note here: of the same gender as you) in your life. They’ll fade in and out and morph over time, but they should always be able to identify them in some capacity.

You Need a Paul.

Nope, not my man this time. (Though, he’ll always be my number one “Paul” *wink*… Yeah, yeah, that was crazy sappy.) A Paul is someone who is a few steps “ahead” of you in your faith walk. They’re the person you find yourself turning to when you need advice or are confused. They’re normally a few years your senior and have more life experience than you do. Your Paul is someone you can be real with and who you trust to keep an eye on you and not let you slide down a dangerous path. Normally they’re the person that when your phone rings you either chat for hours about how God is working in your life, or you’re in tears of repentance after ten minutes… Or maybe that’s just me.

You Need a Barnabas.

Barnabas is your peer. This is probably the easiest one to identify. Who is that person who knows more about you than anyone else? They randomly text you to tell you they’re praying for you, you plan your vacations around their work schedule so you can hang out, and you can’t have a conversation filled with small talk because you’re just bursting to talk about all the things you’ve missed since you chatted last… Yep, that’s your Barnabas.

We also tend to have more than one Barnabas. They’re your best friends, the ones you hang out with on a Friday night. When you think of doing something fun, they’re the girls and guys that you call.

A Barnabas is a person who is in the same place you are in life.

You’re walking the road of experience together, whether that’s first jobs, dating, early marriage, and/or starting a family. They’re the close friends who push you to be the best at wherever you are because they’re trying to do the same thing.

And You Also Need a Timothy.

Timothy is the younger friend that you’ve chosen to invest in. For some of us, these are our siblings, for others they’re our sorority “littles” or the girl our youth pastor asked us to mentor. We’re the cool older friend who takes them out for frozen yogurt or to the Friday night football game. You’re there to encourage them and give them advice from a person who’s just one step ahead in life. You send them “10 Things to Remember Before Going on a Date” lists and pray for them when they have college application deadlines. You meet with them to pray and learn from each other. They keep you young and don’t let you use words like “slacks”, and they remind you what it was like to live with your parents. You’re their Paul, the person they look up to and contact for advice.

Each of these friends, our Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy, help to form us each day. They all add a piece to the puzzle of who we are. And they encourage us in our faith walk in three perfectly unique ways.


Who would you name as your Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy?



  1. Anonymous says:

    Great read!

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