The purpose of Wooddale Church is to honor God by making more disciples for Jesus Christ.
Mentoring programs have long been implemented in business, providing opportunities for younger, less experienced employees to benefit from the experiences of older employees. The goal is to help the mentee achieve long-term success and fulfillment. While mentoring has proven to be an effective tool in business, it also has a spiritual application.
Spiritual mentoring is one person coming alongside another as a companion on the journey of faith. Mentors help answer questions like “Who is God?”, “Who am I in Christ?”, and “What has God called me to as I live out my life?” Examples of mentoring relationships in the Bible include Ananias and Paul, Paul and Timothy, Paul and Titus in the New Testament, and Elijah and Elisha, and Moses and Joshua in the Old Testament.
The mentoring relationship between Paul and Timothy is perhaps the most well documented in the Bible. Two of the letters that Paul wrote to Timothy have been included in the canon of Scripture. From those letters, we can learn a thing or two about spiritual mentoring.
Paul instructed Timothy to entrust the things that he had taught him to some faithful men, who would then in turn teach others to do the same (2 Timothy 2:2). This model is still effective today for those who wish to grow toward maturity in their Christian lives.
What did Timothy gain from Paul during their mentoring relationship? In 2 Timothy 3:10-11 Paul wrote, “you know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings…” Timothy saw Paul’s faith integrated into all aspects of his life.
Paul focused on the potential that he saw in Timothy and encouraged him along the way to develop those qualities that would be most helpful in life and as a leader of others. In 2 Timothy 2:1-7, Paul gives Timothy advice on maintaining his focus and staying true to his calling.
Paul’s advice to Timothy also included warnings not to make unwise choices and to “pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22) As a mentor, Paul felt the responsibility to point out pitfalls that had the potential to derail a promising life.
Persistence in life was also part of Paul’s advice to Timothy. As someone who had years of experience as a follower of Jesus, Paul knew that there would be times when Timothy would feel like giving up. By advising persistence, Paul sought to prepare Timothy in advance for trials he might face after Paul was no longer able to counsel him personally.
Finally, Paul served as a good example for Timothy to follow. By modeling appropriate behavior and wise choices in his own life, Paul set an example for how Timothy should live his life as a follower of Jesus.
Perhaps, like Paul, you could serve as a mentor. Or perhaps, like Timothy, , you could benefit from being mentored. Whether you want to be a mentor or be mentored, contact Wooddale’s One-to-One Mentoring Ministry. You can find more information at www.wooddale.org/live/one-to-one-spiritual-mentoring. You may also fill out a One-to-One Spiritual Mentoring Registration form online. You may also write One-to-One Mentoring on an information card and place it in an offering plate during the service and someone will contact you.