Mentoring is a big thing in Christian circles. We tell our folks that they need to be raising up leaders. Pastors go to conferences where big-named speakers tell them that they have to open up the leadership pipeline so that the church can grow. And we read book after book about new mentoring strategies.
In truth, the call to be a mentor is clear in Scripture.
2 Timothy 2:1-2 – 1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Paul told Timothy to take the truth that Paul had taught Timothy—Paul mentored Timothy—and teach others—Timothy would be a mentor to others—who would in turn teach others—Timothy’s protégés would mentor still others. So there is a clear intent of a chain of mentoring in the church.
So, let’s ask questions about mentoring from two angles. First, are you a mentor? I’m not talking about some sort of formal, book-driven process. I am simply asking if there is someone into whose life you regularly invest. Do you open your home and your heart to someone to help them learn to navigate life? If you are a mature believer, you need to be investing in others as Paul invested in Timothy.
On the other side of the coin, are you looking to anyone to mentor you? Who do you go to in order to have them look into your life and offer you wisdom? At whose feet do you sit and learn? Are you wishing someone would invest in you, but you do not have anyone? For the mentoring pattern to work, we need both students and teachers.
So, ask yourself if you are playing the role that God might have for you in the church. You need to be invested in. find a mature believer who can teach you something about life, about marriage, about friendship, about purity, or about doctrine. And you need to be investing in others. Find someone into whose life you can pour the faithful teaching you have received. You should be receiving from above and passing knowledge down. If you are not involved in this in some form, you are not helping the cause of the church as well as you could be.
The thing is, mentoring is not complicated. It does not require a seminar or a book set. To mentor is to do what Paul just said: Learn from the more mature, pass it on to the less mature, and help them pass it on even further. This is hard, not because it is complicated, but because it requires us to invest our time and our hearts in each other. May we be a people willing to be open to one another as we pass on biblical counsel from man to man, from woman to woman, and from generation to generation.