Here are several qualities of a godly mentor:
Model Godly Behavior
The greatest gift you could give to emerging leaders in the church, especially to those who may be called to vocational ministry, is to live a godly life before them.
Peter told fellow elders and shepherds to be godly examples in 1 Peter 5:2–4: “Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s will; not for the money but eagerly; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”
Paul admonished the church at Philippi to follow his example: “Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:9).
You must begin by modeling a godly life before your disciples. They are looking for someone to give them direction and to model what a godly man or woman looks like in everyday life. They’re looking for someone who can flesh out the faith by applying scriptural principles to real-life situations.You must begin by modeling a godly life before your disciples. Click To Tweet
This is especially true when things aren’t going well. How we react in times of crisis and in difficult situations reveals our true characters. Do you respond by getting anxious and falling apart, or do you respond by trusting and depending on God?
While we were traveling across Texas to Mexico for a collegiate mission trip, our van broke down. Because it was a holiday weekend, we had a small window of time to act in securing transportation for part of our group. Rather than falling apart and thinking the trip was over, our student leaders asked the group to pray, secured a rental van, and had us on our way in a short time. They modeled what trusting God in the midst of a difficult situation looked like and taught our students more in their godly response than we could have taught them in a year of Bible studies.
Encourage and Affirm
Be a cheerleader to those you mentor. We have more than enough naysayers and critics in our lives, so be someone who encourages and affirms!We have more than enough naysayers and critics in our lives, so be someone who encourages and… Click To Tweet
Be intentional about affirming the good in your mentees’ lives. Acknowledge and affirm godly character, attitudes, and actions. Look for ways to build them up and not tear them down. The author of Hebrews said, “And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Heb. 10:24–25).
Here are some practical action steps you can take to encourage and affirm:
Applaud Even the Little Steps of Growth.
Begin to speak into the lives of those you mentor, applauding even the smallest steps of growth you see displayed in their lives. Look for progress, and take the time to say something affirming for their good work, ideas, or meeting of specific goals and objectives.
If language changes cultures and words impact worlds, then words of encouragement and affirmation can help move someone from good to great!
Be Supportive and Optimistic.
Let your disciples or mentees know that you are on their team, that you love and support them, and that you want them to grow and succeed. Never get tired of telling them that you believe in them and their calling.
Help them to understand that God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called. If God has called them to be leaders, He will give them all the resources needed to accomplish what He’s called them to do. That includes helping them grow and develop as they depend upon Him.
Chip came to faith as an older teenager. He participated in our collegiate ministry while he was still in high school. Although Chip’s relationship with Christ was rich and growing, he came from a broken home and struggled with a lack of confidence.
As we walked together, I began to help him understand that he was “accepted in the beloved” through Christ and that he had an amazing identity in Him. As the years went by, Chip grew to be a strong believer and disciplemaker, investing in and mentoring many emerging leaders.
Chip has a growing business in south Louisiana and is a bivocational pastor who is leading his church to make disciples who make disciples.