We are well acquainted with the Great Commission that Jesus gave the disciples in Matthew 28:18-20. It was to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’.
Our standard of discipling, or in other words, mentoring people, then, should be the same that Jesus had already set in place in His relationship and interactions with His disciples during the time of His earthly ministry.
Here are a few keys to being a similarly great mentor, inspired by the life and times of Jesus.
1. Identify The Few
This is the most important part of your process and success in being a great mentor. And you need to heavily rely on God for the same.
Jesus prayed an entire night before selecting His disciples. There is no one too hard to be mentored as long as he/she is specifically assigned by God to be mentored by you.
Also, you need to make sure you don’t select too many people at the same time. The lesser number of people you select, the easier it gets for you to mentor them. So choose wisely.
2. Live Alongside Them
Once you have (by the help of God) selected the person or persons you are going to mentor, you need to begin opening up your life to them. Your mentees need to see your life more than hear your sermons.
Jesus lived with His disciples, travelled with them, ate with them and was one family with them. They didn’t just see Him preach and teach.
Live your life by the side of your mentees. Let them see your weaknesses as much as they see your strengths! That will impact their lives much more than you can imagine it could.
3. Pray For Them
I cannot begin to emphasise on the importance of praying for the ones you mentor.
Why does it really matter or how is it different, you may ask?
When you are mentoring a person, there is a level of access and authority that the Lord bestowes upon you in response to the honour that your mentees sow into your life. So when you pray for them, it really yields much more fruit unlike other times.
Be sensitive to God’s heart over the person and pray in accordance to the same.
4. Walk Ahead of Them
If you have to be able to lead them, you would have to set a higher standard with your life, family and ministry. Remember Apostle Peter’s encouragement to lead by example. (1 Peter 5:3)
This also involves the fact that you will pursue God more, study His word more thoroughly, and remain more sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Only when you do so, will you be able to lead them consistently in each of those areas.
5. Encourage & Promote Them
It is easy to walk ahead of them, but it takes a person who is completely secure in God to be able to promote a person ‘behind’ himself/herself. If you continually encourage and push your mentees into their destinies, you may not see great results right away. But in the long run, the fruit of the same will be immensely encouraging and eternally rewarding.
Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs of two and gave them the authority to do the same miracles and healings that He had been doing. He even allowed them to baptize people. He put His trust in them completely.
6. Confront and Rebuke Them
This is as necessary and essential as encouraging and promoting is.
A mentor who is afraid of rebuking or correcting is just a motivator. And your role as a mentor will not be successful if you are not able to effectively rebuke your disciples.
It isn’t necessary that the person would always or immediately accept your correction or rebuke. But it is very much required that you still do it. Jesus rebuked Peter even though Peter didn’t immediately accept or repent. It dawned on him later and he repented.
7. Be A Father
Above all, be a Father to your mentees. Do not try to control, rule over or manipulate them to do anything or get anywhere. Their growth has to be natural and organic. Remember the story of the prodigal son. If your mentee wants to move out of your leadership, release him/her with love. Unconditional love is what differentiates a Father from a regular mentor.
There will be so many times when you would have to let go and wait till God does His work in their life before you take them into the next step or level. It’s ok if someone takes more time and efforts than the others. As a father you should get used to being a mentor to different people with different capabilities, will powers and destinies.
The best person to help you in your pursuit to be a great mentor is the person of the Holy Spirit. He is the one who helped Jesus during His earthly ministry, and He will help you as well as you continually lean on Him for more wisdom and more grace.
What are the areas in your life that you think, you’d need to work on to be a better mentor? Is there anything else that you do along with or for your disciples that you would like to share with us? What are the challenges that you have faced in mentoring? Feel free to share. We look forward to hearing from you!