by Cailey Morgan
Chuck Lawless recently wrote a helpful and thorough article on “Why Everybody Needs a Mentor and How to Find One.” And while I think he’s definitely right, there’s another side of the coin. I kind of wish he’d written on “Why Everybody Needs a Mentor and how to BE One.”
Jesus’ command to “go and make disciples” goes beyond evangelism. It goes beyond getting people through the door of the church. In fact, if we’re taking discipleship seriously, most of it won’t happen on a Sunday morning.
A big part of the Great Commission is the raising up of God’s children into mature disciples who in turn go and make disciples themselves. I’m convinced a critical piece of that call includes mentorship and menteeship. We all need to be encouraged and challenged, which happens best when coming from someone further along in their walk with Christ. But don’t you think that one of the best ways to solidify what we’ve been learning is to practice it? We all have someone in our lives who could benefit from our encouragement and accountability.
So, here are a few of Lawless’ points about why mentorship is important, but I’d like us to relate them to both receiving and giving intentional discipleship:
- It’s biblical. We can name them. Moses and Joshua. Jethro and Moses. Naomi and Ruth. Elijah and Elisha. Jesus and His disciples. Paul and Timothy. Paul Himself told us that elders must teach the next generation (Titus 2).
- We’re created to be in relationship with others. When God declared it was not good for Adam to be alone (Gen. 2:18), He was not indicating that every person must be married. Instead, He was showing us that none of us is created to be a loner. He expects us to walk together with others.
- None of us knows everything. I don’t know anyone who would say he knows all things, but I do know people who live that way – distanced from others, standing alone, and completely unteachable. We are not so smart that we have nothing to learn from another.
- All of us have blind spots. By definition, a “blind spot” is something we don’t see. So, if you say you don’t have blind spots, you just admitted you do. We need someone else to help us see ourselves fully.
- Experience is a great teacher. We know that truth because we’ve been there. We know better now because of mistakes we made in the past. In a good mentoring relationship, we learn from somebody else’s experiences as well.
- Life will sting sometime. It happens to all of us. The proverbial floor drops out beneath us. Our plans get redirected or shattered. Life hurts – and we need someone to help us carry the burden when it does.
- People are God’s gift to us. Dr. Bill Lane, the mentor of Christian musician Michael Card, put it this way: “When God gives a gift, He wraps it in a person.” We miss this gift when no one walks beside us to guide and encourage us.
If you need help finding a mentor, or are looking for resources on how to be a good mentor yourself, let us know! We’s be happy to point you in the right direction.