What does it look like to make a disciple of Christ? Does it include only sound doctrine and good Bible teaching? Good teaching produces right thinking so discipleship must include Bible teaching; however, it cannot stop there. There is a positive result of approaching mentoring from the perspective if intentional discipleship. It raises our awareness that we actually have to teach and model for others what it looks like to live as a disciple or follower of Jesus Christ in this world.
When we teach men and women to follow Christ, we are encouraging them to intentionally pursue their journey, and not simply react to the transitions and situations that are happening around them. We help them become wise—to know and agree with God’s standard for living. We help them grow in discernment—determining the difference between right and wrong, and the many voices, messages, and agendas that are presented to us on a daily bases. The apostle John encourages believers to test the spirits at work in the world to see if they are from God (I John 4:1-6). By testing together, we all become more courageous—for sometimes we can know what is right and we may know what to do, but those two realities can be difficult, risky, or contrary to our personal desires. In those moments, we need a little push to actually follow through on what we know.
Wisdom. Discernment. Courage…are occasionally overlooked in our models of discipleship. Incorporating wisdom, discernment, and courage into our mentoring relationships connects the truth of God’s Word with the realities of the mentee’s life. Currently, I am mentoring a small group of millennial women. Most of our conversations center on work and/or their relationship with their boyfriends. These are two things that they think about on a weekly basis. Since these are important points of consideration for them, they must be important points of discussion for me. It is imperative as a mentor that I not overlook the reality of their lives. It is important for mentors to constantly ask the questions, “Where are you now? And what’s next?”
As disciples of Christ and mentors, we cannot afford to overlook the important elements of a mentee’s life. In our efforts to teach the Bible, we cannot overlook their attitudes about vocation or where they spend several hours of work each week. We cannot overlook their heart’s response to their personal relationships with their friends and family. At the same time, we must be asking these questions of our own lives. Have you considered lately:
What am I doing? Where am I going? And how is God at work in all of it?
Answer these questions for yourself this week, and then consider them in conversation with your mentee(s)?
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2014