Christian Living

Spiritual Life

God's Heart for Mentoring

"You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 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. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 2:1-3 NIV)

God’s heart for mentoring is motivated by love: love for God and love for people to grow in grace and love for God. I have been blessed by multiple mentors over the years. Men loved me where I was, but loved me too much to allow me to remain where I was in my relationship with Christ, my wife, children, family, and friends. Because these men intentionally invested in me — I seek to prayerfully invest time, energy, and money in other men. I am an imperfect person helping other imperfect people grow in the perfect love of Jesus. God has a heart for mentoring.

Paul affectionally refers to Timothy as his son in the faith. The older saw potential in the younger. Timothy’s humility made him teachable and a worthy candidate to grow stronger in the grace of Christ Jesus. Paul boldly challenged Timothy in the presence of others to select qualified men who would also teach other men. Like training a good soldier — effective mentoring requires discipline, sacrifice, and suffering. Since life change necessitates life engagement, mentors do life with those who want a better life. Invest in reliable people — who will invest in reliable people.

“Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people — men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain — and appoint them as officials...” (Exodus 18:20-21 NIV)

If you wait to mentor until you feel perfectly qualified, you will never mentor. Those who influence the most feel the least qualified. They are vulnerable with their own struggles, sins, and shortcomings. The younger can relate to the older who are real about their insecurities, fears, and failures. Like Paul, you invite sincere seekers to join you in your journey with Jesus through life. The great adventure of faith is not without tests and trials. But together — young and old — you persevere together. Start with one who wants to grow — then expand into a small community.

Radical Mentoring is a proven process for you to follow. I have used this for years and it works beautifully. By invitation only, you invite six to eight hungry hearts into your home once a month for a year. You read books, memorize scripture, and experience two overnight retreats together. Use whatever system works for you. You may say, “Where do I start?” Begin in prayer. Ask the Lord to lead you to people who have a passion to grow in their faith, character, and relationships. Most of all, lean into the Holy Spirit to teach your mind and heart. Mentors are loved by God.

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” (Psalm 143:8 NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to love and mentor others in a way that grows them in Your love.

Application: Who can I ask to join me for a yearlong journey together in a radical mentoring group?

Related Readings: Psalm 119:12; Acts 6:3; 1 Corinthians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 3:9; Hebrews 6:12, Hebrews 13:7

Copyright 2016 Boyd Bailey. Used by permission from Boyd Bailey at wisdomhunters.com.

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