, we began a series looking at the role of a mentor and how they should model their lives for those they disciple. Today we will look at how we can both encourage and pray for those that God has entrusted to us to disciple.
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!
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.
Never Cease Praying
When you pray for those you disciple and mentor, you are trusting God for a couple of things.
First, when you pray, you are trusting God to do what only He can do. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:6–7, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” When you pray, you are believing that only God can grow a disciple of Christ.
Second, when you pray, you are trusting God to help your disciple or mentee pursue Him.
If the late Jerry Bridges was correct in saying, “Sanctification is a work that God does that requires our effort,” then it stands to reason that you should pray that your disciple or mentee should have a heart to pursue God. You should pray often that God will awaken godly affections and a desire to know Christ in a deep, intimate way.
Pray and model prayer often with your disciples. Since prayer is caught as much as it is taught, you should pray often with your disciples or mentees. Show them that you are dependent on God and not yourself, and help them learn that prayer is a never-ending conversation with God. The Lord Jesus and the apostle Paul modeled prayer for their disciples. You should do the same!
Next week we will examine how we should take advantage of teachable moments and seek to offer godly counsel.
Photo by mehul dave
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