One of the Biblical terms that shapes the expression of mentoring today is ‘nouthetein’ – the verb meaning ‘instruction’ or ‘edification’. It is used by Paul through his letters to encourage believers to respond to and to exercise pastoral teaching or spiritual guidance with one another. The background of the term is important. The context of its use is in family, household or close friendship environments where there is a relationship of trust, responsibility and particularly mutuality. It has the implication of ‘honest and earnest but gentle admonition among friends’. The contextual basis for nouthetein’ is always a caring committed covenant relationship with the other.
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