One of the best books I read while attending seminary was Peter Kreeft’s “Back to Virtue: Traditional Moral Wisdom for Modern Moral Confusion.” It feels like a classic, and it is a book that I continue to revisit from time to time. Kreeft begins with a simple question, “Is virtue out of date,” and continues the conversation by asking, “Whatever became of virtue?”
Christians like all other sinners, have always been susceptible to vice, but today we no longer seem to know what vice and virtue are.
The solution to the first problem is repentance and divine grace—something a book [and I would add, a blog post] cannot help much with. But the solution to the second problem is knowledge, and there a book can help.
The thing is: virtue must be learned, taught, and practiced. This is how we increase our knowledge. Parents of young children understand this full well. We are in a constant pattern of teaching, correcting, and providing discipline because we love our children, and we want them to grow-up to become virtuous people.
The same is true of our spiritual maturity. When we grow in our understanding of the very spiritual things that we lack, we can then practice what we have learned until that practice becomes a habit, that habit becomes a discipline, and that discipline shapes our character.
When I think of mentoring as intentional discipleship, specifically regarding my mentoring relationships with young people, so much of that service involves leading a virtuous life in front of them (i.e. leading by example), teaching them how to “be” in this world, and then giving them the opportunities to practice or “do” what they have seen modeled and taught.
Continue reading “The Virtues of Love and Kindness in Action”
We are continuing our mentoring series with the topic “Mentor for Peace.”
Don’t miss out on Parts 1 through 3: Mentoring 101: Freedom, Mentoring 102: Mentor for Joy, and Mentoring 103: Love.
Let’s review some basics:
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is a trusted partnership where people share wisdom that fosters spiritual growth and leads to transformation, as mentors and mentees grow in their love of Christ, knowledge of self, and love of others.
If we adopt the view that mentoring fosters spiritual growth that compels us to follow Jesus Christ, and that it leads us to surrender to the change needed for spiritual maturity, then we are led to the following conclusion about the relationship between mentoring and discipleship:
- God’s kingdom purposes for mentorship and discipleship are one and the same. The words can be used synonymously when any Christian assumes the responsibility of influence in the life of another.
- As Christians, when we mentor others, our primary purpose is to make disciples of Christ and to show them how they can make disciples of Christ.
To put it simply, mentoring is intentional discipleship.
When we think about mentoring as intentional discipleship, we come to understand that mentoring is both theological and relational. The relationship aspect of mentoring—specifically the relationships that humans have with each other—is where we will turn our attention today.
Continue reading “Mentoring 104: Peace”
I recently had the honored of being interviewed for Christianity Today‘s CT Women #AmplifyWomen series. Check it out below.
As a former Marine Corps officer and seminary grad, Robinson has dedicated her career to the command in Hebrews 5 that all believers should be teachers of God’s Word. In Robinson’s view, some Christians lack the opportunity—and sometimes the initiative—to pursue robust discipleship relationships, which means they miss out on spiritual growth for themselves and others. Women, in particular, often don’t have access to the institutional structures that typically slide men into formalized mentorships. “Local churches have a great opportunity to create a leadership pipeline for men and women by pursuing an intentional model for discipleship,” says Robinson.
Drawing on her own relationships with sisters in Christ, Robinson speaks here about how to empower women across cultural divides, how to mentor millennials, and how to learn from the legacy of the African American church, where discipleship relationships are more common.
Continue reading at CT Women.