Embrace 1 – Lesson 7

EMBRACING MENTORSHIP – RAISING THE NEXT GENERATION

Introduction
Though the term mentoring does not appear in the Bible, the concept of mentoring is well captured and articulated throughout Scripture.
Moses mentored Joshua and the elders of Israel (Deuteronomy 31 & 34) while on the other hand Eli mentored Samuel (1 Samuel 1-4). Elijah mentored Elisha (1 Kings 19 and 2 Kings 2) and Jesus mentored his disciples (Luke 9). Paul mentored Titus, Timothy, and many others.
1. What is Mentoring?Mentoring is both a formal and non-formal intentional and interactive learning relationship mutually recognized by both the mentors and the mentees.

i. Mentoring is a systematic and intentional process of raising the next generation.
Mentoring cannot be achieved without a conscious, deliberate and intentional decision to allow someone to know us personally and in turn nurture them. Matthew 4:18-22As Jesus was walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
Then He said tothem, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

ii. Mentoring is a process of transferring knowledge from one generation to another.
Patterns are developed over a period of time. Hence, Paul urges his mentees Timothy and Titus to entrust the knowledge they had acquired to other reliable people.
He demonstrates the fact that whatever he had shared and taught them was of great value and needed to be transferred to others.

ImplicationThe mentoring process is founded on resource sharing; as Robert Clinton puts it“Mentoring is a relational process, in which someone who knows something, the mentor transfers that something (the power resources such as wisdom, advice, information, emotional support, protection, linking to resources, career guidance, status) to someone else, the mentoree (Clinton, 1991:34).

iii. Mentoring is God’s design for growth in spirituality, character and ministry.
In Titus 2:2-6, Paul urges Titus to teach various age groups to ensure their growth and maturity incharacter and ministry. This was a transferable process from one generation to another.

Note:Mentoring can be done between individuals of the same age or those whose ages span many generations, both women and men.
CLASS DISCUSSION

“Generally, it is best for women to mentor women and men to mentor men but there are exceptions to this.”
Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why or why not?
2. What is the Purpose of Mentoring?

i. Mentoring identifies and promotes the work of God’s Spirit in people’s lives.Mentoring is a “triadic” relationship between the mentor, mentee and the Holy Spirit.

Implication We cannot meaningfully demonstrate the fruit of mentorship unless the power of the Holy Spirit is at work in the life of an individual. ii) Mentoring demonstrates God’s mighty works and proclaims God’s power over generations.
Younger generations can only understand how God, his works and power have been demonstrated over the ages past when they are retold and taught about them by older generations.

God reminded the Israelites a number of times on the need to teach and pass on virtues over several generations.Psalm 145:4 – 5“One generation commends your works to another; They tell of your mighty acts.They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty – And I will meditate on yourwonderful works”.
iii). Mentoring is a means of ensuring God is revered from one generation to another.
One of the greatest responsibilities of any generation of Christians is to ensure that successive generations honor God.

In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, God requires that if we truly love him we would pass the commandments to ourchildren so that the attitude of love and obedience would be passed from age to age. iv). Mentoring paves way to mature Christian disciples.
The Christian faith is lived in community, where members of the body spur one anotherto love and good works.Hebrews 10:24-25
v). Mentoring ensures successful succession.
Preparing a successor takes time. Poor leaders may be afraid to equip someone capable of succeeding them, but great leaders like Moses begin developing successors long before they expect to leave office.Numbers 27:15 -20

Succession planning (mentoring) is the responsibility of both the current executive (like Moses) and those who exercise complementary authority (like Eleazar and the leaders of the congregation). Note:Mentoring is about transfer of things that are durable: Vision, Passion, Intent and Character.The sole purpose of mentoring is to grow the follower’s maturity into leadership or the next phase of life.
3.  How Does Mentoring     Happen?There is no one set formula as to how mentoring relationships are developed. However, mentorship happens within certain frameworks. i). One-On-One Mentoring.

This is the most common mentoring model. It essentially matches one mentor with one mentee. It allows both mentor and mentee to develop a personal relationship and provides individual support for the mentee.
The relationship between Paul and Timothy offers a model for mentoring and ministry. Paul referred to Timothy as his “true son in the faith.”
(1 Timothy 1:2).Mentors shepherd by coming alongside with counsel, consult, guidance, instruction, and challenge but primarily by modeling.

1 Peter 5:5″Likewise, you younger men [of lesser rank and experience], be subject to your elders [seek their counsel]; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another [tie on the servant’s apron], for God is opposed to the proud [the disdainful, the presumptuous,and He defeats them], but He gives grace to the humble.” (AMP) ii). Peer Mentoring.

This is co-mentoring with someone of similar age, interest, and commitment to Christ. It is an equal relationship in which both parties respect, honor, value, learn from, extend and enrich each other.
Proverbs 27:17“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” NotePeer mentoring relationship aims at spiritual and personal growth, for both parties – both give and receive from each other. ImplicationEven the very best mentor does not have all the answers and also needs a mentor.
Only God knows it all.

iii). Group Mentoring.

This model involves several people spending time with a mentor and addresses specific subjects.Jesus Christ mentored the 12 disciples for three years. He lived, worked, and travelled together with them. He gave them opportunity to do what he himself was doing, preaching the gospel, healing the sick and casting out demons. NoteThis group-oriented mentoring provides numerous kinds of assistance including information sharing, advice, social support, coaching, counseling and empowering individuals to greater competency.
Mark 3:14-15“He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” CLASS DISCUSSIONThink of different issues in your life that require mentorship. Which model would be best suited for each situation? [One-on-one, peer, or group]. CLASS DISCUSSION2. What attributes do you admire in your mentor?

iv). Normal life contexts provide complimentary mentoring.
Whereas mentoring stands on its own as a concept, it is also incorporated in other regular relationship processes.
Parenting: Job and his children     (Job 1:4-5)
b) Discipleship: Jesus and his disciples      (Mark 3:14)c) Coaching: Moses and his father in law –      Jethro (Exodus 18)

d) Counseling: Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1-4)e) Pastoral Care: Paul and Onesmus    (Philemon 8-22).

ImplicationAll our close interactions with people have an impact on them. Whatever we do is bound to influence those who are eager to learn from us in every respect. Hence, we have to be careful with whatever things we do, whether we want to pass it on or not.
ImplicationThis is particularly true in parenting and internship contexts. It is said that ‘your childwill most likely pick after your habits over your advice’.
4 . What are the Benefits of Mentoring?Mentoring provides immense benefits. We are better when we have others to look up to.Proverbs 27:17“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
i). Mentoring promotes spiritual growth and maturity.
Mentors help mentees develop consistent spiritual patterns for growth and maturity through the encouragement of deep spiritual disciplines. This may be through quiet time, Bible study and prayer.
ii). Mentoring provides     role models.

1 Corinthians 11:1“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (NKJV).1 Corinthians 4:16“Therefore I urge you, imitate me” (NKJV).
A mentor must be a model that others can imitate. As Francis of Assisi so distinctly put it: ‘Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary’.  Similarly, as an old adage speaks to the art of mentoring; “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.”
iii). Mentoring provides encouragement.
Mentees gain immensely from proactive encouragement from their mentors, whounderstand the power and value of positive motivation.

2 Timothy 1:6“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid” (NKJV)

iv). Mentoring provides trusted counsel in challenging times.

Life always brings us to crossroads and moments of making critical decisions. Mentors come in handy  in such situations.Proverbs 15:22″Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
v). Mentoring prepares the next generation for experiences with God.

The mentoring relationship between Elijah and Elisha prepared Elisha for the tasksand responsibilities ahead after Elijah had been taken away.2 Kings 2:13-15 ImplicationThough the events of Elijah’s life were absolutely incredible, God wants to do greater things with each succeeding generation, if they are willing to learn.

Our Lord Jesus Christ affirmed this:John 14:12“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father..” (NKJV). CRITICAL POINTS TO NOTE1. Every mentorship situation will be different because it involves people. And no two persons are similar.
2. The perfect mentor does not exist. Many people dismiss themselves as potential mentors because they think they are not perfect. A true mentor is marked by a character of humility, openness to learning, integrity, thankfulness and a desire to grow in God.

3. Mentorship flourishes in an environment where both the mentor and mentee have the right mindset. On one hand, the mentee must be faithful, available and teachable, while on the other hand the mentor must be vulnerable, open and mature; exercising great humility. ConclusionMentoring is the pathway to developing the next generation of leaders. Mentors serve as positive role models, promoting raised aspirations, positive reinforcement, providing open-ended counseling and joint problem solving.

Myles Munroe in his book Pass it on states:“The greatest act of leadership is mentoring. No matter how much you may learn, achieve, accumulate, or accomplish, if it all dies with you, then you are a generational failure.”
Do you have a mentor?  Do you have mentees?  Do you belong to any mentorship group? If not, you need to do so, because you are wasting yourself and hanging dangerously. We all have something to pass on, and we all need to learn something from others.