Recently, I hosted a webinar on creating a leadership pipeline for men and women in your church. Due to time limitations I was not able to answer all of the questions posed during the learning session. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be answering these pertinent questions on Mentoring Mondays.
Today’s question is: Is mentoring as intentional discipleship for everyone in the local church or just for potential leaders?
Mentoring as intentional discipleship is for everyone in the local church. However, since many people either have not been intentionally discipled themselves or don’t know how to intentionally disciple others, I recommend starting with potential leaders. Additionally, you must be aware that not everyone in your local church will make the mentoring commitment. Do not let that deter you from what you have been called to do, mainly to make disicples. Let all who are willing come.
Mentor for Life presents the benefits of mentoring for the entire local congregation and universal body of Christ. Among those benefits are the cultivation of a person’s character (something we all need), making disciples of Christ (something all believers are commanded to do), and raising up leaders in the church. “So not only is mentoring a means of intentional discipleship, it is a leadership factory that prepares people of all backgrounds, life stages, and experiences to lead well.”
If you have the responsibility for discipleship, small group, community group, men’s or women’s ministries, I recommend starting a mentoring group with the leaders of these ministries to ensure shared vision, purpose, and values of making disciples in your local congregation and the community to which you have been called to serve.
Perhaps, you don’t have the capacity either because of the lack of skill set, time, or passion to lead a church ministry. That’s a huge administrative undertaking. Don’t let this act of ability discourage or make you feel guilty. Do what you can! You can offer a small mentoring group in your home to the people in your area of influence. Think outside the box and cast a wide net: consider your neighbors, co-workers, community leaders, people at your children’s schools, and people in other places where you frequently visit. Invite them to commit and try something new. Who among us doesn’t want to intentionally make new friends, have deep relationships, and ponder how we can individually and collectively live our lives on purpose for God?
Regardless of how you start—either with the launching of a new mentoring ministry; the revitalization of an old discipleship, small group, or community group ministry; or if you are starting a mentoring, discipleship, or small group in your home—this is only the beginning of the mentoring process for all of you.
What’s important is that you get started, express the need for the mentoring commitment and community up front, and clarify the desire to mentor and multiply. All mentees must eventually become mentors who share the same purpose of intentional discipleship with others.
Start by teaching the basics, help mentees increase their understanding of embodying the basics (simply “being” as God intended), and then give them the opportunity to practice (this is leadership training). We want a spiritually mature body of believers at work in the church, community, and the world. To accomplish this kingdom mission, we must equip and challenge all God’s people to grow up!
This is the leadership pipeline and training metaphor as presented by the writer of Hebrews:
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:13-14 NIV
Mentoring as intentional discipleship helps us all grow, and this is for our personal benefit, for the benefit of our families, for the benefit of the local congregation and community, and for the benefit of God advancing his kingdom, expanding his glory, and exerting his influence in the world through people like us. “When God made humans in his own image (Gen. 1:26), he assumed his presence and reign would be reflected on earth and impact every aspect of their lives. From the creation passages and the cultural mandate of Genesis 1:26-30, we know God’s glory is revealed through our flourishing and multiplication.”
We need all women and men committed to this work, and that’s why mentoring as intentional discipleship is for everyone in the church.
Gather a group of people and go through Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship.
Consider using several of the free resources and printable products available for download on my official website.
Do you need some help casting a vision for mentoring, leadership, or discipleship? I am now booking speaking engagements for 2017. Complete a speaking request form.
Do you need help with training your leaders or potential mentors? You can seek out my leadership consulting or mentoring coaching packages and complete a consultant request form here.
Blessings, © Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2016