The Power of Mentors

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Have you noticed how much the Bible talks about the “one another’s”? We are called to love one another unconditionally, to bear one another’s burdens, to encourage one another in following Christ and to teach one another the ways of the Lord. The “one another’s” are not just “ideals” we should think about; they are commands that are central to the Kingdom of God. If we are not living out the “one another’s” (regardless of the reason), we are disobeying the Lord’s desires and wishes.

One of the reasons why our Lord Jesus stresses the “one another’s” is because it is the best way for us to grow spiritually. We can never grow in the faith by being a “Lone Ranger Christian”; we grow only when we are in intimate community with one another. This does not mean that we are intimate with every one in the Body of Christ. This does mean that we should have significant relationships with other Christians that empower our spiritual lives. Unfortunately, most Christians try to find their spiritual empowerment at a distance – by listening to a weekly sermon; one-way communication that is “hit or miss” in its approach to meeting spiritual needs.

I feel that the most effective way to grow spiritually is to have a good Christian mentor. A mentor is someone who is a little more mature in their faith. A mentor is a person who meets with you regularly to help you grow in your faith. A mentor is someone who helps you with life and spiritual issues; someone you can call on when you need some advice.

I attribute most of my spiritual growth to a myriad of mentors who have helped me, trained me, encouraged me, and sponsored me throughout my life as a Christian. I don’t see how I could have survived without them! I am equally amazed at how many Christians I run into who have never had a spiritual mentor!

Mentoring is seen throughout the Scriptures: Elijah and Elisha, Samuel and David, Jesus and Peter, Barnabas and Paul, Paul and Timothy, Timothy and Epaphras. Mentoring is the primary way that faith gets passed on. Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:2 –

“What you have heard from me, in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who can teach others.

In that verse we see the multiplication of mentoring. Not only are we to be mentored, we need to be mentoring others. Bobby Clinton (no relation to Bill), one of the world’s experts on Christian leadership, says that effective Christians (the ones who finish well) are those who have three types of mentoring relationships:

  1. Upper Mentors – those who are a few steps ahead of me, who help me
  2. Mentorees – those who are a few steps behind me, whom I help
  3. Lateral Mentors – those who are where I am; we mutually encourage each other

Do you have a mentor? Are you mentoring someone? Do you have a lateral mentor? Start with where you are, the people you know, the people who are part of your church community. The best way to get a mentor is simply to … ask. Tap into the power of the “one anothers” and find an “other” in the Body of Christ to partner with you on the journey of Whole Life Worship.

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