Ministry of Mentoring

The young lady approached one of the Female Leaders in her church one Sunday evening after church.  Although her question did not surprise her, it did awaken her, she said, “Will you mentor me?”   Hmm, she thought.  This was the third time in the past few weeks she had been asked this question.  Are you speaking to me, God, she said?

“Will you mentor me?”  This is a question many in the body of Christ are asking, and it’s not just young people.  People of all ages and spiritual levels are asking this question.  The Lord is calling for those who will rise and accept the
challenge to mentor.
This is the thrust of the mentoring program that I developed, as led by the Holy Spirit entitled, The Call to Mentor.  This program is effecting life change and lasting results.  The Call to Mentor is an approach that combines both formal and informal methods of mentoring.
Informal methods involve role modeling and the impartation of wisdom.  Joshua observed Moses as he followed him up the mountain to receive the Law (Exodus 24:13).  He watched him day after day as he led the Israelites.  Moses spoke wisdom into Joshua’s life and encouraged him as a leader (Deuteronomy 31:23; 34:9).  Moses tested Joshua as a leader when he sent him along with 11 others to spy out the land.  Moses put his approval on Joshua as they joined together in song to declare Jehovah as God (32:44).  When the time was right, Joshua was ushered in to leadership.
Formal methods we use involve disciplining, training and releasing.  During Elisha’s life and ministry, religion was on the rise, and prophetic schools were growing in great number.  People wanted to be mentored by great prophets such as Elisha.  Elisha served as headmaster of several schools in Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho, and other locations (1 Kings 12:29; 13:1-32; 20:21, 35; 2 Kings 4:38).  Using both formal and informal methods has proven to bring powerful results.
In spite of the evidence throughout Scripture that mentoring is a God-given mandate, we hesitate when called upon to step up and accept the challenge.  Why?  I believe it’s partly because we have so little information about what mentoring involves and because, stereotypically, we tend to idolize mentors and fail to see ourselves as possible candidates for God to use.  It has been said that leadership is influence.  The question is not, Are we influencing others, but, How are we influencing others with our lives.
There is a recession of leaders in the body of Christ, and many times it’s because they haven’t found their place.  We need to step out on the field and invite the whole team to join us—not just those who appear to be star players.
The Call to Mentor is a God-given tool that is helping in the training and developing of women.  As one woman wrote,
Lives are being transformed by this awesome mentoring program and by the power of the Holy Spirit.  I believe this program should be implemented in every church in America!  The investment of my time to begin this mentoring program taught me that the experience, maturity, and spirituality of women, all supporting one another, creates a deep and powerful reservoir of God-given strength that has significantly benefited our church.
— Ana Sevenson, Parkway Life Church of God, Naples, Florida
Hear the beckoning of the Holy Spirit calling you to take the challenge to mentor others.  How are you answering the question, “Will you mentor me?”
 Mentor . . . A wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
One of the largest and most vital areas of ministry for New Testament women was that of discipleship.  In the Great Commission, Jesus Christ commanded that His disciples “make” disciples of others.  This process involved two principles, as illustrated in the lives of Jesus and His apostles:  association and instruction.  To start the journey, a disciple associated or interacted with a protégé on a personal basis.  Jesus, for example, had chosen His disciples so that they might “be with Him.”  The apostle Paul also recognized that discipleship occurred in the context of close relationships or in the “sharing” of life.
The second aspect of discipleship was instruction.  Disciples were to be taught how to be obedient in order that they might be firmly rooted, built up in Christ, and established in the faith.  Paul instructed that all spiritually mature women had the responsibility to mentor those women who were less mature.  Through discipling other women and bringing them to maturity in Christ, New Testament women glorified God and were integrally involved in the Kingdom.
Mentoring by Association:
“Just as iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other” (Proverbs 27:27).
There are many examples in the Word where we see mentoring taking place, one on one, in everyday life.  Jonathan Zeigler recently spoke in one of our chapel services bringing to our attention that Naomi was a mentor to Ruth.  He stated that Naomi was the co-star as the best supporting actress in the book of Ruth.  Even in her later years, Naomi served as an old lady.  No money.  No husband, no sons, but a daughter-in-law whom she wanted to bless.  Inside of Naomi there was more in spite of how it looked.  The best time to serve is when all the odds are stacked up against you . . . it is just a preview of the coming attraction.  Thank God for people who wake up the gift in you . . . a mentor!
Mentoring by Instruction:
“My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you will be my disciples” (John 15:8).
Mentoring comes natural to women.  We can either have a negative or positive influence on those in our presence.  How great is your influence?  You say, “I have no influence.”  This is probably what Queen Vashti thought, but her husband, the king, thought otherwise.  In the book of Esther when King Xerxes requested the presence of his Queen Vashti, she refused to come.  Then the king became furious and burned with anger.  He consulted experts in matters of law and justice.  They replied Queen Vashti has done wrong, her conduct will become known to all the women and they will despise their husbands and say, “King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.”  With this kind of conduct exposed, there will be no end of disrespect and discord.  We must have a queen who will reflect respect for their husbands from the least to the greatest.  The search began for beautiful young virgins for the king.
Esther was among the many young girls brought to the palace complex and given over to Hegai who was overseer of the women.  Hegai liked Esther and took a special interest in her.  Her makeover began with beauty treatments, special food, seven personal maids from the palace and the best rooms in the harem.  Esther, the young orphan and ravishing beauty, emerges from the shadows of the royal harem to take on the title role.
This process of waking up the gift within Esther, reminds me of a statement that Mitch Tulle made while speaking to the congregation at North Cleveland Church of God during a “Still Alive and Well” Conference.  He shared a story about his close relationship with his grandson, Alexander.  They had built a very close bond during his young lifetime.  At every opportunity he poured positive thoughts and actions into Alexander’s life.  He made a statement to Alexander, “If you ever desire to be average, I’ll fight you with everything.”
What a mission statement for mentors to live out.  To be able to look past the compulsive behavior, the constant mistakes, someone who lacks polish, speaks out of turn and gives answers without listening and saying, “If you ever desire to be average, I’ll fight you with everything.”  This behavior was typical of Peter, but Jesus never gave up.  Peter went on to preach at the Day of Pentecost.  Large numbers responded to Peter’s words and repented, believed and were baptized.
Goals of the Mentor:
Mentoring transfers the wealth of experience and understanding from one to another and creates opportunity for both teacher and student.

It is very important to discover the needs of the mentee and implement ways to fulfill those needs.  To provide a format for mentoring either by lifestyle or classroom situation, the following are a few suggestions from the “The Power of Mentoring” by Martin Sanders.
• Each mentee tells her “story.”  This is an abbreviated summary of the highlights of her life and career to date and possible next steps, a story that can be told in 3 minutes or less.  This is called the elevator speech.
• Spend time identifying up to three goals they’d like to work on with the help of one or more mentors.  The goals can be tentative and general and yet they should be important to the mentee.  Add one or more additional goals that better fit each relationship.
• Mentees should create a possible list of experiences they would like to pursue in order to reach their proposed goals.  Help mentees brainstorm numerous other self-directed learning activities (such as online courses, interviews of people, journaling) as well as courses, reading material, and other options.
Our perfect example is Jesus with the twelve disciples and how He poured into their lives and got them ready for the world around them.  It’s all about teaching and training and multiplying ourselves into those about us.  “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  Mentoring should be about the mentee’s agenda.  Focus on your relationship rather than the content.  It is important that you help the mentee reach their goals.  It is the power of intention.  Thank God for people who wake up the gift inside  of others.  You can truly call yourself a MENTOR.

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