2 Timothy 2:2 provides perhaps the best verse regarding mentoring. “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”
We see four generations of mentoring: Timothy the second, Paul the first, faithful men the third and others as the fourth.
The goal of the mentor, is to produce an accountable, responsible, reproducing adult.
- I do, you watch
- I do, you help
- You do, I help
- You do, I watch
Mentoring and discipleship are similar but very different. Discipling has more to do with the impartation of knowledge and deals with the externals of how to live as a Christian.
Mentoring is more holistic and goes beyond discipling. The mentor deals with the inner things and addresses character and helps the person being mentored to develop a Biblical worldview.
Mentoring is Biblical
Moses built into the life of Joshua. Naomi mentored Ruth. Elijah poured his life into Elisha. Paul adopted young Timothy as his spiritual son. And, Jesus, the perfect example, chose twelve men that would walk with Him and learn what it meant to be a follower of God.
Mentoring, then, needs to be restored to its place within the life of each Christian. Mentoring is essential for the growth of the church. Everyone should have a mentor, someone who by reason of age, experience, gifting, or all of the above has something to impart to them at a personal level. Everyone should be a mentor, i.e. look for someone whose life they can enrich and help become more like Christ.