Developing a Mentoring Culture in your Church

By Glenda Holbrook

This is one of the topics we will be discussing at our Forum beginning May 7th in Tasmania.  If you haven’t registered for the Forum yet, it’s not too late and we’d love to see you there.  Just go to the information and registration sections of this site.

We began the journey of developing a mentoring culture in our church about two years ago. Along the way we have learned much – and still have much to learn.  In this first of four articles we’ll look at WHY DEVELOPING A MENTORING CULTURE IN OUR CHURCHES is so important.

A mentoring culture is really all about developing a relationship between two people where the mentor helps the other person to see what God wants for them and of them. I love Kenneth Leech’s definition of Mentoring, It is an art which includes helping to discern the work of the Holy Spirit in our life, assisting in the difficult task of obedience to this work, and offering our support in the crucial life decisions that our faithfulness requires.’

I think a common misconception about mentoring is that it’s just the latest ‘fad’ – this can negatively influence a church’s preparedness to even consider mentoring. However, when we look at both the Old and the New Testaments we see many examples of mentoring relationships. We see Moses and Joshua (Deuteronomy 32:1-8), Samuel and Saul (1 Samuel 9:15), Elijah and Elisha (1 Kings 19:16-21), Eunice and Lois (Acts 16:1-3), Paul and Timothy (1 and 2 Timothy).

largeAs we look at Jesus Himself we see Him investing much of His time in a few people, His disciples. Arrow Leadership’s Mentoring information provides us with Jesus’ mentoring pattern of identifying, investing and entrusting from Mark 3:13-14:

  • Jesus discerned through prayer the people in whom He should invest time: asking God to help us identify those we should be spending time with will prevent us relying on our own preferences
  • Jesus called those He wanted: for the sake of many, He invested in a few
  • Jesus appointed them to be with Him: He was prepared to share His life with them – and this is at the heart of mentoring – a willingness to be open and share life together
  • Jesus sent them to go out for Him: He entrusted them with His ministry.

Jesus has given the Great Commission to every one of us in our churches (Matthew 28:18-20) and mentoring helps to fulfil His Commission:

  • Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth – Jesus is the guide/mentor in every mentoring relationship
  • Go and make disciples – mentoring is about helping people grow as disciples
  • Baptising them – the people we mentor have committed themselves to Jesus
  • Teaching them to obey – mentoring helps people to learn and take action
  • Everything I have commanded you – mentoring is based on the truth revealed in Jesus, the living Word
  • I am with you always – Jesus promises to be with us as we seek to be and do all He reveals to us.

Glenda Holbrook

(Associate Pastor, New Peninsula Baptist Church / Director of Glenda Holbrook Mentoring & Coaching)

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