If you read through the Proverbs, the four Gospels, or Paul’s letters, you’ll notice something: the vital importance of other people speaking into our lives.
The Proverbs are littered with verses that call children to obey their parents, younger people to listen to their elders, and everyone to heed sound counsel. The Gospels display the Master pulling twelve men alongside him and setting them toward the kingdom. Paul calls his readers to imitate him, to imitate godly examples around them, and to imitate Christ.
We all have room to grow, and there are always people from whom we can learn. This kind of influence can take a variety of forms. The kind we are passionate about is what we call mentoring.
Mentoring is guidance for all of life. As Christians, it’s the task of helping others bring the entirety of their lives under the Lordship of Christ. So it involves guidance of all kinds, where one person shares their wisdom, knowledge, skills, and experience to help someone else grow in those areas.
Mentorship requires a mentor whose life is worth imitating. As a mentor, you invest in a life-on-life relationship that will be mutually enriching. This will strengthen your life and transform your own growth in all kinds of ways. You need to be the sort of person who cares deeply about others, especially the next generation.
It also requires a mentee who’s eager to learn and grow. Going alone is not wise (Proverbs 18:1). Building a network of expertise and wisdom to draw on can benefit both yourself and others.
Mentoring can take place whenever and wherever. We believe, ideally, that mentoring takes place within a local church. Mentoring can also take place in Christian community, friendships, and the marketplace.
WHAT ABOUT DISCIPLESHIP?
When we talk about Christian Mentoring, we are describing a relationship in which someone older imparts all-of-life wisdom to someone younger. When a younger person wants input on something in his life — whether it concerns family, finances, work, doctrine, sin, Scripture, and everything in between — he should have a trusted mentor or two he can call. This kind of relationship is broad, and includes what we often call discipleship. In fact, Christian Mentoring could be termed “all-of-life discipleship,” the attempt to be faithful disciples of Christ, taking every aspect of life and bringing it under his Lordship. We are opting to use the term Christian Mentoring to emphasize the breadth of the relationships we want to encourage and equip.