Mentoring Those Called To Vocational Ministry - Part 1

A mentor, by definition, is one who is a trusted counselor, guide, tutor, or coach. As ministers of the Gospel, we have the great privilege of mentoring young leaders and Gospel workers. My purpose is to share several qualities of a Godly mentor. lightstock_90945_xsmall_jared_callais
  1. Model Christ-like Behavior.
The greatest gift you could give a young man or woman would be to live a Godly life before them. Someone has said, “example is not the best teacher; it is the only teacher!” Notice what the Lord Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16) ESV According to Jesus, it is important that others “see your good works.” This is huge if you want to mentor others! They must see that we live lives consistent with the Gospel we profess to believe. Paul told Timothy this very same thing. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. (I Timothy 4:12) ESV In other words, model before the church a Godly life because living a life that lines up with the Gospel is a powerful way to ensure your credibility! When you live a Godly life before others, you will leave a fragrant aroma that will draw others to Christ and to yourself. But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. (II Corinthians 2:14) ESV 2. Encourage and Affirm. Be a cheerleader for those you mentor. We have more than enough critics in our lives, so find the good and affirm the character qualities that are praise worthy. Here are three action steps that may be helpful:
  • Applaud even the little steps of growth.
As you have opportunity to observe signs of growth take the time to affirm and compliment your mentee. Words like “good job” and “great insight” go a long way toward helping your mentee validate those qualities or practices that are good and Godly!
  • Work hard at legitimately praising them.
Don’t exaggerate or flatter; but when you see something that you can honestly praise them for – do it!
  • Be supportive and optimistic.
Help your mentee know that you are on his team and that even if others forsake them, you will always be supportive; even when they make mistakes. 3. Never Cease Praying. E.M. Bounds gives great insight when he says; “You can’t rightly talk to men about God, till you first talk to God about men!” In John 17, Jesus prayed for those he discipled, and in the book of Ephesians Paul prayed for those Gospel workers he “poured his life into.” Notice one such prayer: 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3: 16-19) ESV Probably the greatest thing you could do for those you mentor would be to pray earnestly for them! Pray that God would enlighten them concerning the truth, and then enable them to put that truth into practice! Click here for part 2.