Since the inception of Christianity, the life of discipleship has required mentors and friends. Mentors raise up others so that they grow more fully into the discipleship to which they are called. Friends share hopes, joys, and sufferings in communion with those who walk the journey of discipleship. The New Testament, and particularly the letters of St. Paul, remind us of these truths and roles. The Apostle shows us what to look for in a mentor, how to mentor another disciple, and how to live joyfully with true Christian friends.
Three of Paul’s letters are written directly to Timothy and Titus, who looked to him as both mentor and friend. On their feast day, it is fitting for us to examine the contours of Christian mentoring and friendship through the lens of these letters (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus). These texts reveal clearly the qualities by which Paul raises up future leaders of the ancient Church and walks with his friends toward holiness and salvation.