The 5 Basic Ingredients & How to Carry out Your Mentoring.
Hey Girls! Grab your cup of coffee and let’s chat. This should be informative!
So in our last Back to Basics we discussed tips for finding the person God wants you to disciple or the mentor you’ve been longing for. Hopefully you have taken action in that direction – and yes, diligent prayer over the issue is taking action. Think ahead for a moment. What happens next? Once you find the right person to mentor or be mentored by, what does the relationship look like and where do you go from here? Just as every person is different in personality and every marriage is different in the way it plays out, every mentor relationship will be unique and personal. But there are several ingredients that go together to make a healthy, fulfilling discipling relationship. Scripture memory, witnessing, and other aspects of spiritual growth and training can be added in, but these 5 ingredients are the core:
- Studying God’s word together
- Worshiping together
- Sharing lives/building a relationship
And just how you do it also varies.
Here are some things to consider:
- Decide whether to have one-on-one mentoring or a group you are mentoring. A group makes best use of your time.
- Set a regular place to meet: a home, church, coffee shop, conference room at work, etc.
- Find a regular time to meet whether weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or something else. Make it a calendar event.
- Set the length of the meetings – 1-2 hours works well. Respect each other’s time: be punctual starting and stopping.
- Determine the duration of the discipling relationship: a one year commitment is usually good. It can be extended if you both wish, but always schedule another ending date so the relationship doesn’t waste away in awkwardness.
- Agenda. Have a routine planned that will take place each time, but be flexible to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
- Determine the focus of the mentoring based on the greatest need of the disciple: salvation, spiritual growth, training in how to study the Bible, moral accountability, developing spiritual disciplines, prayer for an ongoing and desperate situation, developing leadership in a more mature believer, etc.
- Choose a course of study such as read though the Bible together and discuss, do a topical study, use a Bible study booklet, or read and discuss a Christian book.
Advice to Mentors.
- Always begin with prayer dedicating your time to the Lord to use as He sees fit. And always pray for wisdom for yourself as you lead them.
- Your goal is to love them with the love of Christ.
- Your purpose is to teach or train this disciple from what God has taught you.
- Your job is NOT to fix this person’s flaws nor be their Holy Spirit – He is the one who convicts them of sin and guilt.
- Offer your young protegé loving correction for the sin in their life. Hold them accountable. But love them even when they fail.
- Be absolutely genuine with the ones you disciple. Fakiness or a holier-than-thou attitude can’t be in you when you disciple someone. Drop your mask.
- Be faithful to your commitment. Don’t give up and bail on your disciple because you get busy, feel insecure, sin yourself and don’t feel worthy, or for any other reason.
- Mentor, you are not perfect, and you are not expected to be. Admit your failings to your mentee. Learning occurs even when our disciples watch us deal with our own sin, failings, and awkward moments. (If it is a grievous moral failure on your part you should strongly consider handing them off to another mentor while you get your life back on track spiritually. And DO confess and ask forgiveness from them when you have sinned.)
- Never lead your disciple into sin! (“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!” Mathew 18:6-7; “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.” Romans 14:21)
- Besides the scheduled meetings, make yourself available as much as possible to your mentee. (However, do protect your marriage and family commitments.) Be available for calls, texts, emails, visits (including emergency ones), and spontaneous casual friend time. Include them in holidays and special events, or invite them to be your roomie on the next ladies retreat.
Now that you are praying and seeking one to disciple and you know what the expectations are, it’s time to step beyond your awkward feelings and act obediently! You will struggle and grow and open up being painfully honest when you don’t really want to be. You will be forever changed. You will never regret investing in others for the kingdom of God. It’s time to step out of your boat and walk in faith with Jesus! You can do this!