Reflection: Mentoring Principles in the Gospels
WCIU Journal: Leadership Topic
August 20, 2015
by John Sheneni
The Bible is replete with principles and examples that invigorate Christians to practice mentoring in the community of faith. To neglect mentoring is to be at the risk of violating scriptural precept. As Keith Anderson and Randy Reese comment at the beginning of their book on spiritual mentoring, “Christianity is an imitative faith” (Anderson, Keith R. and Randy D. Reese. Spiritual Mentoring: A Guide for Seeking and Giving Direction).
People develop best when they see their beliefs lived out in other Christ-followers. The Christian faith encompasses a God-dimension, whereby God initiates and sustains our faith, as well as a human-dimension, whereby spiritual formation occurs in the context of biblical community through modeling and instruction.
Human mentoring relationships enable the believer to progress further in his walk with Christ than is possible in the absence of mentoring relationships. In turn, one’s growth in intimacy and knowledge of God aids him in his interaction with other humans.
The Lord Jesus Christ engaged in mentoring in ministry that was large-scale in nature yet small-group oriented, as well as offering attention to individuals within his small group (John 13:6-10).
Jesus mentored the twelve apostles who established the Christian church. The apostles mentored hundreds of other leaders, including Paul. Paul mentored Titus, Timothy, and many others. Timothy mentored “faithful men” such as Epaphras, Epaphras and the other faithful men mentored others also which led to a chain reaction that resulted in dozens of new churches in Asia. Ultimately, this specific mentoring chain is the beginning point of our churches today.