The 3 Types of People You Need in Your Life

November 27, 2013 — 11 Comments

Nothing in life will shape you more than the people who surround you and the books you read.

The Men’s Fraternity at my church is currently working through a series called “Authentic Manhood.”

Relationshipsphoto credit:

If you’re a men’s small group leader I’d highly recommend that you check it out.

This past week’s lesson was very powerful and I’ve been excited to share it.

One of the things I’m learning is that personal and spiritual growth always happens in the context of meaningful relationships.

You and I were designed to live life in community and to sharpen one another (Proverbs 27:17).

Here are the 3 types of relationships that you MUST develop if you want to be effective and experience the most growth.

  1. The Encouraging Mentor.

    Everyone needs a Paul in their life.

    This is a person of great wisdom and knowledge. An individual who is willing to share their life experiences in order to help you grow.

    Encouraging mentors help you harness vision, hold you accountable, and push you to take the next step.

    Being under the authority of wise counsel can’t be overstated.

    Proverbs 11:14 says that with counsel, there is safety.

    Who are you meeting with on a regular basis and allowing to pour into your life?

  2. The Side-by-Side Teammate.

    Everyone needs a Barnabas in their life.

    This is a person with whom you have a spoken or unspoken loyalty.

    Side-by-side teammates love you unconditionally and help you walk through rough patches in your life.

    These aren’t simply social media relationships and casual acquaintances.

    These are life-long, character-shaping, burden sharing relationships–people you can confide in.

    When you’re alone, you can talk yourself into anything. Side-by-side teammates hold you accountable and help you stay on the right path.

  3. The Eager Protégé.

    Everyone needs a Timothy in their life.

    One of the main components of personal and spiritual growth is learning to develop others.

    Regardless of your stage of life, their is always someone that is eager to learn from you.

    Everyone has a unique story and unique experiences. Leverage your story to help develop and bless others.

    Right now, who are you investing in on a regular basis?

Here’s a few quick tips that’ll help you develop meaningful relationships.

  • Be loyal. Always keep your word and aim to do your best.
  • Learn how to ask good questions and take a genuine interest in the success of others.
  • Be transparent and truthful. This might even mean being vulnerable at times.
  • Always demonstrate integrity.
  • Make yourself available.

Proverbs 13:20 sums it up best:

Walk with the wise and become wise;
associate with fools and get in trouble.

QUESTION: How are you experiencing growth through intentional relationships? What’s the most important lesson you’ve ever learned from a mentor?

  • Alex Barker

    The greatest lesson I learned:
    Forget your previous failures or what you think is a failure. Do the next right thing.

    • Larry Poole

      Powerful advice. You can never fail as long as you’re moving forward. Thanks for sharing.

    • Skip Prichard

      Great ideas, Larry. I like Alex’s approach, too. Forward momentum!

  • aprilbest1981

    YES! love it…my belief in community at it’s basis for a fulfilling Christian life becomes strong and stronger as time goes by…this is great, and said simply…I am sharing right now!

    • Larry Poole

      April, I think we all grow the most through community/relationships. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving.

  • Dan Black

    Yes, great growth happens through relationships. It’s why building strong relationships with those around us is so important. I’ve made it a point to connect with other writers so that we both become better through the encounter. Great post and thoughts!

    • Larry Poole

      Hey @danblackonleadership:disqus, I’m a natural introvert, but I’m most effective/productive when I’m connecting with others.

      Thanks for taking the time to share. Have an awesome Thanksgiving break!

  • Dave Arnold

    Great post, Larry. My mentor for many years has taught me to learn to not just pray, but listen to God as well. I’m so grateful for him. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

    • Larry Poole

      Great advice @DaveArnold16:disqus. I know I’m bad at listening to God at times. You’re right. Sometimes He has an answer for us, but we aren’t always ready to listen.

      You have a great Thanksgiving too my friend.

  • Micah

    Great post and very challenging. I tend to major on the second and third types of relationship but don’t always find it easy to find and get around encouraging mentors. Think it’s something I’m going to make a priority.

    • Larry Poole

      Hey Micah, Thank you for dropping by and adding to the conversation.

      I struggle with both #1 and #3. One of the biggest challenges is finding both people who can mentor you and people you can invest in personally.

      It’s something I’m praying about and working towards as well. Be blessed!