God’s heart for mentoring is motivated by love: love for God and love for people to grow in grace and love for God. I have been blessed by multiple mentors over the years. Individuals loved me where I was, but loved me too much to allow me to remain where I was in my relationship with Christ. Because these saints intentionally invested in me, I seek to prayerfully invest time, energy and money in others. I am an imperfect person helping other imperfect people grow in the perfect love of Christ. God has a heart for mentoring and it is displayed in the discipleship process that we see in Christ, as well as in the relationship of Paul and Timothy.
Paul affectionally refers to Timothy as his son in the faith. The older saw potential in the younger. Timothy’s humility made him teachable and a worthy candidate to grow stronger in grace. Paul challenged Timothy in the presence of others to select qualified men who would also teach other men. Like training a good soldier, effective mentoring requires discipline, sacrifice and suffering. Since life change necessitates life engagement, mentors do life with those who want a better life. Invest in reliable people, who will invest in reliable people.
If you wait to mentor until you feel perfectly qualified, you will never mentor. Those who influence the most feel the least qualified. They are vulnerable with their own struggles, sins and shortcomings. The younger can relate to the older who are real about their insecurities, fears and failures. Like Paul, you invite sincere seekers to join you in your journey with Christ. The great adventure of faith is not without tests and trials. But together, young and old, you persevere together. Start with one who wants to grow, then expand into a small community.
Our prayer: Lord give us the discernment to see the potential in others, and the heart to take them under our wing and mentor them in the things of You and Your Kingdom that we might be active in making disciples amen.