Mentorship is a relationship between two people where the individual with more experience, knowledge, and connections is able to pass along what they have learned to a more junior individual within a certain field. The more senior individual is the mentor, and the more junior individual is the mentee. The mentor benefits because they are able to lead the future generation in an area they care about and ensure that best practices are passed along; meanwhile, the mentee benefits because they have proven that they are ready to take the next step in their career or life matters and can receive the extra help needed to make that advancement. This article will major on biblical mentorship.
Since I joined iServe Africa, I have been going through mentorship. It is a requirement for every apprentice to have a mentor. This has fostered my growth in accountability and growth in faith as I have been learning from my mentor on how to apply the Scripture to life situations. Therefore, am going to share what biblical mentorship is, how it looks like in Christian circles and why is it important.
Biblical mentorship is whereby a mentoring relationship exists among believers of the same faith. The mentoring relationship is one whereby a younger believer is tethered to a more mature believer for a season so that she might grow firm in her faith and be equipped for ministry. This mentoring entails more than merely passing on knowledge about God. It involves showing people how to love and serve God.
Ephesians 4:12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
Ephesians 4:13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
2 Timothy 2:2 and the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
God is always the one doing the work, but he uses the mentor in the lives of the mentee to build up the church. The entire Church is built up and unified as a more mature believer provides support and encouragement for a younger Christian. The mentor focuses on what the Bible teaches and sticks to the gospel so that they both are rooted and built up in Christ, strengthened in the faith, and knowing how to apply Scriptures to life situations.
The goal of this mentorship is to know Christ in a more intimate way through the benefit and blessing of walking purposefully along with a mature believer. The gospel being central to their relationship builds their one-to-one relationship. For example, In Titus 2:3-4; older women are encouraged to teach what is good and urge younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands.
Why should a biblical mentorship have the Gospel as the tool for mentorship? Well, because the bible is the final authority and ground for every believer. Let me say that biblical mentorship should not be just about sharing life experiences and human wisdom. Ultimately, the mentor has to point the mentee to Christ. This will make the mentee depend and rely on Christ in the situations that the mentee may go through. It avoids the temptation of overdependence where one can be tempted to rely on the person mentoring than on Jesus.
Other foundational reasons are because the Gospel is perfect refreshing the soul (Psalms 19:7), trustworthy making wise the simple (Psalms 19:8), right giving joy to the heart (Psalms 19:9), and radiant giving light to the eyes (Psalms 19:10). Also, Apostle Paul encourages Timothy to teach sound doctrine and focus on what the Scripture teaches for,
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The mentor therefore must be in an intimate relationship with Jesus and see to it that the mentee too is growing in her walk with God and ultimately, both are becoming more like Jesus every day. Jesus calls us to follow Him in the context of intentional meaningful community. For the mentorship relationship to be meaningful both parties should communicate clearly from the beginning of an expected frequency and duration for the time together. This will help redeem time and focus on what is necessary for their time together. Otherwise, they may end up meeting and not being intentional and goal-oriented. It also fosters healthy mentorship relations and guards the relationship against falling into the temptation of unfruitful talk of gossip and other stuff that may arise from idle minds. They should also agree on the method of mentorship which includes reading the Bible together, praying together, or working through a book together. The mentee can learn by observing the life the mentor, listening to what the mentor teaches, and being obedient.
I encourage the reader of this article to put into practice biblical mentorship. If you are mature in faith I urge you to prayerfully consider mentoring a believer who may be young in faith. It is not all about age. You may be young in age but mature in faith. You may also be old and be either mature in faith or young in faith. Pray that the Lord will graciously bring someone you can mentor, encourage and grow together. You may also be old and feel that perhaps you have made wrong choices in life and so perhaps not qualified to mentor someone. The Lord has used weak and imperfect people for His glory. You only have to be confident that the one who is the Potter can mold and equip you to build up and edify believers in the body of Christ.
Remember that the main tool for mentorship is the Bible. What does the Bible teach about such and such, how can it be applied to life? If you are a young believer, pray that the Lord will lead you to a mature believer in faith. It will not do you good to be in isolation in your walk with God. Accountability fosters growth in faith and helps in not giving in to sin, discouragement, and the schemes of Satan.
This is an article by Everlyn Kedogo, a second-year apprentice.
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