The purpose of Wooddale Church is to honor God by making more disciples for Jesus Christ.
Many people are talking about the importance of mentoring relationships for spiritual growth these days. Some of you may be asking yourselves whether you should seek a mentor or become a mentor yourself. Here are some things to consider as you think about becoming part of a mentoring relationship.
• Mentoring engages one person who is more mature or experienced with another in order to encourage and strengthen the younger or less experienced one.
• Christian mentoring isn’t about being intensely spiritual all the time. It is instead primarily about building caring relationships as faith is shared.
• Mentoring is very different from teaching because mentoring flows from life experience combined with knowledge. It need not be academic in order to be effective. Teachers impart knowledge; mentors impart life and spiritual growth.
• Mentoring is a voluntary relationship that is a heart connection between mentor and mentored. Most often a mentoring relationship is initiated by the one seeking to be mentored.
What are the traits that characterize a godly mentor?
• True wisdom is derived from intimacy with God and intimacy comes only by spending time together with God in the disciplines of prayer, Bible study and meditation. A godly mentor seeks regular contact with God.
• If married, a good mentor serves their spouse in a healthy, biblical relationship. If not married, sexual purity and integrity is modeled by them.
• A godly mentor parents his or her children as a life priority that is more important than their career.
• A history of ministering truth that has borne fruit in others is characteristic of a godly mentor. The fruit of the Spirit will be apparent in the life of the mature Christian mentor: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Self-control speaks directly to resisting temptation.
• A godly mentor is aware of, and actively resists, excessive acquisition and materialism.
• Self-discipline and being a life-long learner should be apparent aspects of a Christian mentor’s lifestyle.
• Being an active listener is very important. Mentoring is more about listening than about giving advice, though it will require a willingness to self-disclose and be transparent about one’s own life, struggles and joys.
In a nutshell, an outstanding Christian mentor will display a heart for God, experience in life and a genuine self-giving love for people.
The New Testament book of Titus speaks directly to the call on the early church to mentor others and to refute false teachings. This book was written by the apostle Paul in 63 AD and still has direct application today.
• In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned… . (Titus 2:7-8)
• …he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (Titus 1: 8, 9)
You don’t need to be flawless and have everything in perfect order in your life in order to consider being a mentor. Those who have dealt with adversity and personal struggles are often the most qualified to mentor others. Hardships and sufferings may be instrumental in developing a Christ-like character of compassion and spiritual depth. If you have surrendered your mistakes, losses and failings to God’s healing, mercy and forgiveness, a new level of Christian insight, maturity and ability to understand others is often the result. This can enable you to be an especially helpful and godly mentor to others.
For more information on Wooddale’s Spiritual Mentoring Ministry, visit wooddale.org/ministry/1-1-spiritual-mentoring.