Got Mentor?

Today I am off to Africa to spend time with fellow leaders committed to equipping this generation to be disciples who make disciples. As I prepare to go, I am reminded of how important it is to have a ‘life on life’ mentoring relationship with someone else.

We do not disciple the masses; neither did Jesus. 

He taught the crowds, he fed the crowds, he even astonished the crowds with his supernatural power. But very few people from those crowds received the dubious distinction of being called his disciples. These twelve disciples lived with their master day and night. The experiences they shared presented opportunities for learning and discipleship which no classroom or large group exercise could ever manufacture. They developed a ‘life on life’ relationship with Jesus which deeply impacted them. He modeled the behavior he wanted to see reproduced in their lives. They learned by observing his priorities, his compassion. In the end, they were not tested on their knowledge or skills, but on their behavior and whether it could be reproduced in others. Jesus made it clear, “You are my friends if you do what I command” (Jn 15:14). These disciples went on to make many more disciples forming a reproductive movement which established church communities all throughout the known world.

“Mentoring is a relational experience through which one person empowers another by sharing God-given resources… a positive dynamic that enables people to develop potential” (see Connecting:The Mentoring Relationships You Need To Succeed in Life by Clinton and Stanley).

At MB Mission we call people out of the crowds into intense discipleship experiences. All of our short term mission programs facilitate “life on life” relationships for participants. They are mentored at a variety of levels. During the training, on outreach and after they return home.

Here’s what I learned from my mentoring relationship with Jean-Daniel (JD), a TREK participant from Montreal QC this past fall.

Mentoring requires intentional time.

There is no perfect mentoring relationship. I was not perfect. Sometimes we couldn’t even keep our once/week commitment. However, every intentional relationship can teach you something. Each time we met, we learned and grew.

Mentoring is critical especially at times when the growth curve is steep, like a discipleship training program.

Mentoring is a two-way relationship. I know I learned as much from JD as he did from me.

Mentoring brings correction.

Mentoring brings perspective.

Mentoring builds the church. As we disciple each other in the way of Jesus, we humbly affirm our dependance on each other.  This is the church in action. How could the hope for the world be something so simple yet so ingenious?

JD says, “It’s a great and necessary challenge to share everything going on in our lives with others. There’s always the slight hesitation of saying everything, but when you realize the importance and the helps it brings, you have no choice to dive in.”

Do you have a mentor? What do you learn from them?

6 Responses to Got Mentor?

  1. I have been mentoring a young woman for 2 1/2yrs now. She is only a year older than my oldest son. She is a pastor in gifting and a pastor’s wife in title. Something wonderful has occurred in these years of our transparency and accountability with each other that makes clear your point, “Mentoring builds the church.” The relationship has grown beyond me teaching and caring for my young pastor to us caring for one another and building up one another. And she is now mentoring others who will learn to care for her and then go on to mentor others… This is the beauty of the Body.

    • Joan, it is encouraging to hear you are still committed to mentoring. Thx for the great example. May God continue to multiply your life in others for God’s glory.

  2. Great piece Sam.Mentorship is a forgotten word in relationship.The term LIFE ON LIFE is interesting one.Your experience in cross-cultural missions is a motivating factor that i do appreciate and that our networking will be of great benefit not only to me but the discipleship school i am directing.Our website is very old,do not bother about it, soon we will open a new one.I just put it for the sake of space!

    • Joseph, thanks for reading the post. I greatly appreciate your contributions. Let’s do all we can to mobilize this next generation to be all they can be for the glory of Jesus. Sam

  3. Although I’m reading this post a bit late it is a great challenge. My last 2 years at Tabor I decided that it would be beneficial for me to join the Women’s Mentoring program on campus. Going in a bit hesitant I remained prayerful that the Lord would place me with a woman that I could truly build a relationship with and learn from. He did just that, I was beyond blessed and grew through the mentor relationship more than I expected. Thanks for the challenge Sam, I now am looking to seek out another mentor.

    • Katie, super to hear from you! There are many types of ways to be mentored, may you find the right relationship for the season of life you are in right now! Thank you for taking a moment to share your experience. sam

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