Romans 16:21: Timothy, My Fellow Worker, Greets You; So Do Lucius And Jason And Sosipater, My Kinsmen.
Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen. (ESV)
Paul makes an interesting distinction in this list of people who send their greetings to the church at Rome. Timothy is listed as a fellow worker. Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater are listed as kinsmen. In other words, he has members of his earthly family to whom he is related. Timothy is not included in this list. If you know other parts of Scripture you may remember that Paul viewed Timothy as a son in some respect.
There are two books of the New Testament that are letters that the Apostle Paul wrote to this same Timothy. In these letters that Paul wrote we find a closeness that is very much like family. He begins the first letter to Timothy with these words, "To Timothy, my true child in the faith." Paul likened himself a spiritual father to Timothy.
What does it mean to be a spiritual father to someone? Paul was instrumental in bringing the Gospel to a young Timothy. He brought him along on missionary journeys. He poured himself into Timothy, giving him instruction and opportunity to grow in his gifts of ministry. There is no question that Timothy was used by God in a mighty way and Paul, as a father to a son, helped to facilitate that ministry.
When I was a young troubled young man there was a pastor who took time and invested himself into me. I view him as my spiritual father. His name is Jerry Scott. I owe very much of my ministry philosophy and ability to pastor people to Jerry. As you grow in your faith you would do well to find people who you can encourage in the faith. Maybe you could be a spiritual father or mother to a young believer of Jesus Christ.
Consider those that God puts into your life. Are they your new potential "child in the faith?" Ask God to help you to mentor others. He uses men and women to raise up other men and women to be powerful ministers for the Gospel.