I grew up in an era of "big-gun" Christianity. An era when people were content to let the "professionals" sing, entertain kids, evangelize, and teach classes. An era when only those with a Ph.D. counseled. An era when only church leaders prayed for people. The rest just sat back and watched. I am grateful, however, that I grew up in a church with an opposing philosophy that points to a model we see in Scripture.
A Model for Mentorship
Why is mentorship so important? Jesus did not go around healing people with his 12
disciples acting as aids or bodyguards. They were his protégés. They were learning from the Master. Later on in the Gospels we see Him send them out in groups of two to minister. Their first assignment. Did they always get it right? Not entirely. But Jesus let them try and fail, so He could correct them. He was training them for when He would go to Heaven. That is what the 12 disciples were. Trainees. That is what the other 70 disciples were. Trainees. They weren't professional. They were just willing and obedient. This is a model we have set aside for the sake of a sleek, streamlined, professional, attractive appearance of Christianity that we hope will attract sinners and keep saints engaged. The question is: are they really engaged? Is spectatorship truly engagement? I believe a truly effective church that will go forward in the might and power of the Lord is a church that refuses the model of professionalism and embraces the biblical model of mentorship. A model where average blue-collar people are doing ministry within their own sphere of influence. A model where lay-people are endued with power from on high. A model where stay-at-home moms turn play dates into Jesus encounters. A model where the church moves beyond it's spacious campus and into neighborhood barbecues. This happens where mentorship is not only encouraged, but practiced.
The Rewards of Mentorship
1. Mentorship Builds Relationship God's kingdom thrives on relationship. Jesus built relationships with people. He wasn't isolated or untouchable. Sick people touched him. Demon-possessed people touched him. Prostitutes touched him. Lepers touched him. Little children touched him. The outcast had direct access to Jesus. The entire Kingdom of Heaven is about relationship. The trinity is a relationship, we have relationship with the Father and He longs for us to build relationships with people here on earth. If we are to see the church advance in power, we have to build deep, strong, and durable relationships with those the Lord has given us to minister to.
2. Mentorship Promotes Multiplication The greatest way to do kingdom work is to multiply ourselves through others. Jesus talked about that when He said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." Jesus multiplied Himself through over 80 men who would do 80 times more works than He alone could do. If those 80 men mentored 80 more men, Jesus work would be 6,400 times more powerful than He could do alone. Mentorship promotes multiplication!
3. Mentorship Gathers Heavenly Treasure Mentorship invents in kingdom riches. When we take precious time out of our busy schedules to disciple new believers, we are investing in the kingdom. An investment whose returns are 100% secure and sure. There are so many other pressing matters that deceive us into thinking that they are of utmost importance, but when we hold them up to the light of eternity, their value pales in comparison. Think on the heavenly reward of the one who invests in a soul who goes out and wins 100 souls. Those are 100 souls won because one person chose to invest in another. If those 100 souls win 100 souls, there are now 1,000 souls won for eternity. And the numbers only grow from there. Do you see how one person can make a great impact for eternity? Jesus didn't call us to observe, He called us to work. He armed us with gifts, talents and a unique testimony that is all our own. What are you doing to invest in someone's life for eternity?
Rosilind is an American girl married to a Bosnian guy who lives in a small village just outside of Zagreb. They have two crazy boys 3 and under who are as opposite as boys can be. When Rosilind isn't writing, she is dreaming up recipes and searching for ways to organize her home better. You can find her at A Little R & R where she writes about missions, marriage and family, toddler activities, and her recipes. You will also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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