Mentorship is an aspect of ministry we are all called to, whether it is having one, being one, or both. It can sound intimidating, but Dr. Chuck Lawless has laid out a simple yet thorough guide in his book Mentor: How Along-the-Way Discipleship Will Change Your Life.
What is Mentorship?
According to Dr. Lawless, “Mentorship is a God-given relationship in which one growing Christian encourages and equips another believer to reach his or her potential as a disciple of Christ.”
“We give ourselves to another person for the sake of the gospel.”
Effective mentorship is beneficial for both parties. It spurs us on to be better. When done right, the mentor will desire to stay steady for the sake of his witness, and the mentee will desire to grow and honor what the mentor has invested in him.
Chris Van Brocklin, Training Ambassador at No Regrets Men’s Ministry, makes it clear that “you can’t really become a godly man without being close to a godly man.” We need the benefits of relationship with men who are spiritually a step ahead, and we need to look over our shoulders to see whom we can guide through an area we have already experienced growth.
Jesus modeled it.
“The disciple walks in the dust of the master.” We see this example literally in Jesus’ disciples. They lived and served together, and Jesus taught them in the three years they ministered together on this earth, “along-the-way.”
Paul modeled it.
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1
Just as Christ chose some men to teach day in and day out, Paul heavily invested in Timothy, a younger man who was faithful to learn and follow in his footsteps.
How to Begin
We sometimes feel unqualified in the call to disciple, but it doesn’t require perfection. We find traits we can model in the examples of Jesus and Paul.
1. They walked in life together.
They modeled relationships. Shared time, activities, and experiences provide the opportunity to see areas of strengths and weaknesses in someone’s life. Both Jesus and Paul modeled this even unto their deaths.
2. They shared the Word together.
In order to truly disciple, we must be about the Bible and pointing one another toward truth.
3. They had willing disciples.
Jesus’ disciples and Timothy show who we need to be as we learn from a mentor, and they model character traits we need to look for in others we might consider mentoring.
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” 2 Timothy 2:2
Just as Paul shows us in Timothy, we need be fertile ground to invest in and then be intentional about investing in others.
Mentorship requires a willingness to start and a commitment to grow in Christ. Dr. Lawless will help you develop a plan of action that is workable. Take the hesitation out of starting a plan and pick up the book today. You can find it, along with a series of short videos, with each lesson at Lifeway.com/Mentor.
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