The Apostle Paul offers insight into how to live the Christian life with other people and into the value of mentors and mentoring. Mentoring is a relationship in which a mentor helps a protégé reach his or her God-given potential. Although the word “mentor” never appears in the Bible, the concept of mentoring is found throughout the pages of Scripture.
Each of us should seek to cultivate three relationships with others.
1. Everybody Needs an Epaphroditus — An Ally
What’s the role of an ally? This person is often someone near your age, with similar life conditions to your own, who helps you address ideas, problems, questions, and practical issues of life. An ally holds you accountable and challenges sin in your life. He speaks hard truths to you.
2. Everybody Needs a Paul — A Mentor
Dr. Howard Hendricks proposed “ten marks” of a mentor:
1. Seems to have what you personally need.
2. Cultivates relationships.
3. Is willing to take a chance on you.
4. Is respected by other Christians.
5. Has a network of resources.
6. Is consulted by others.
7. Both talks and listens.
8. Is consistent in his lifestyle.
9. Is able to diagnose your needs.
10. Is concerned with your interests.
3. Everybody Needs a Timothy — A Disciple or Mentee
A disciple or mentee is someone less advanced than you in some area of your spiritual life whom you take under your wing and mentor. It may not be someone younger in age!
Think and talk about mentoring…
Parents: How can you mentor your kids and also help them to connect with others who can mentor them?
• Who in your life is an ally? Identify them and name them.
• Who in your life is a mentor? Identify them and thank them this week.
• If you do not have a mentor, who could you ask?
• Who are you mentoring?