Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home/content/04/6821604/html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-mobile-pack/frontend/sections/show-rel.php on line 65

Archive for Mentoring

Jul
18

You Need a Mentor:: 4

Posted by: | Comments (0)

So far this week I’ve written about six qualities that mentors possess based on 2 Timothy 1:1-14. Today I want to finish this series up with the last two characteristics. Quality number seven is that mentors are models. Mentors model behaviors, values, and attitudes to their proteges. “Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you” (2 Timothy 1:13-14, NLT). Notice the word “pattern” in verse 13. That word literally means “blueprint.” Mentors provide a blueprint for you to make your own way. Good mentors do not seek to develop imitators. They develop innovators. Paul is known for being a church planter, traveling as an itinerant preacher for the entirety of his ministry career. He might stay put for a season, but generally his practice was to hit the road so he could start something new. What we know of Timothy’s biography is that he was a stay at home body. While he did travel extensively with Paul, his post Pauline ministry expression was serving the body of Christ as a local church pastor. The take away from this is that a good mentor doesn’t demand their pupils be just like them. Only Christ has the right to make that demand.

The eighth and final characteristic is that mentors facilitate growth. Peeking into the next chapter, Paul continued by writing, “Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others” (2 Timothy 2:1-2, NLT). Paul’s goal for Timothy was to “pass the baton,” for true growth is not measured by what you get. Its measured by what you give.

Who’s your Paul? Waylon Moore said, “Everyone needs a PACESETTER ahead of them; a PEER beside them, and a PUPIL following them.” Who’s your pacesetter? Who’s your peer? Who’s your pupil?

Comments (0)
Jul
17

You Need a Mentor:: 3

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Yesterday I offered the first three of eight characteristics of a good mentor, based on Paul’s relationship to Timothy. Characteristic number four is that a good mentor will inspire passion. The next two verses say, “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:6-7, NLT). Mentors challenge you to “fan the flames!” They inspire you to find and develop the very thing that gets you excited about life. They challenge you to never quit on your goals and dreams. They help you discover God’s gifts and call upon your life and inspire you to never settle for second best.

The next characteristic is transparency. One of the reasons I appreciate Paul so much is that he was always honest about his own struggles. His example reminded Timothy that mentors are not bullet proof. They are fallible. They are not exempt from challenges and are authentic about their struggles. They are guides, not gods. “So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:8-9, NLT). In short, Paul was reporting that his faithfulness landed him in prison, and that Timothy should understand that he could face the same treatment.

The sixth and final marker that I’ll share today is that mentors are teachers. 2 Timothy 1:10-12a continues, “And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News. That is why I am suffering here in prison.” Mentors know what they know, but they also know what they don’t know. But more than conveying facts, they reveal insights that awaken you to your own discoveries. Their primary work is not to answer all of your questions. Sometimes the best work a mentor can provide is the inspiration to simply ask better questions.

Six down, two to go. I’ll finish it up tomorrow.

Comments (0)
Jul
16

You Need a Mentor:: 2

Posted by: | Comments (0)

This week I’m posting about the characteristics of a mentor, based on the mentoring relationship that the Apostle Paul had with his protege, Timothy. The first quality that a good mentor will possess is experience. “This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:1, NLT). A mentor is one who has walked where you are walking. They have the experience and the experiences you need in life. They’ve earned their accomplishments and often bear in their bodies and souls the scars of adversity. They are not theorists or philosophers. They offer practical help that matters in the real world.

Characteristic number two is that mentors are relational. Check out the language Paul used to describe his proximity to Timothy: “I am writing to Timothy, my dear son. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace. Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again” (2 Timothy 2:2-4, NLT). Words and phrases like “my dear Son,” “ancestors,” and “tears and joy” help us to see that there was a kinship between the two. The difference between and mentor and a teacher is a relationship. Every mentor is a teacher, but not every teacher is a mentor.

The third characteristic is that mentors know the power of a story. Verse 5 continues, “I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you” (2 Timothy 1:5, NLT). Good mentors use image and illustration to convey truth. Rather than spew forth answers or cliches, they dwell in the land of “once upon a time,” and will often address questions by telling a story rather than producing pat answers.

Tomorrow I’ll share three more characteristics of a good mentor. Thanks for checking in today. And thanks for recommending this blog to your friends and family!

Comments (0)
Jul
15

You Need a Mentor

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Dr. Dale Hammond was one of my Bible professors at Hannibal LaGrange College. For some reason, Dr. Hammond took an interest in me. His first priority for me was to disciple me in the faith. But he wasn’t just a teacher, he was a mentor. I wouldn’t have known to use that term in 1984, but he was.

Mentoring is a relationship in which a mentor helps a protégé reach his or her God given potential. Effective mentors are like friends in that their goal is to provide safe contexts for growth. Except for love, the greatest gift one person can give to another is the gift of growth. Each one of us needs someone to look up to; a wiser, usually older, God-energized guide who can help us find our way through this new and unfamiliar landscape that is not for faint hearts or weak stomachs. Sir Issac Newton said, “If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Who is helping you to turn your tinkling tin can into the sounding gong of wisdom?

The Rabbinical practice of Bible times helps us understand the principles we’ll examine in the text. A young man would be evaluated for aptitude and potential. He would initially have to have memorized both the Torah and the Mishnah. If he passed the test, the Rabbi would then put his cloak over the shoulders of the young man and he would enter a life of apprenticeship. The relationship between the Rabbi and the apprentice would be closer than any family relationship. Then, at the age of 40, the apprentice would become “of age” and become a full fledged practicing Rabbi. If you think about it, Jesus modeled a similar practice with the 12 disciples.

This week’s series is going to focus on the mentoring relationship between Paul and Timothy. Paul and Timothy first met in Acts 16:1-4. That meeting began a mentoring relationship that would continue through the end of Paul’s years. How did that relationship work? What do you look for in a mentor? Check in frequently this week for eight characteristics of a mentor.

Comments (0)