Life is a journey that often leads to forks in the road and we have to make choices about which way to go and what route would be the best for each one of us. Many times we find that we need to seek others to advise us about what has worked for them, how they have reached their destinations with the greatest success. It is at those times that we need a mentor, a discipler; a person who has already walked the road and has learned from their mistakes and how to help others avoid the pitfalls that they may have experienced in their life’s journey.
Mentor – defintion from dictionary.com is “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher”. Dr. Mark Virkler, founder and CEO of Christian Leadership University, gives this working definition of being in a discipling or mentoring relationship: “This is the core of a discipling relationship: receiving the spirit and anointing of another.” He goes on to say: “For example, the disciples saw in Jesus a Spirit and an anointing which they desired. After spending a year and a half with Him, watching Him in action and experimenting alongside Him, they received the same anointing and the same Spirit. They were then able to go out on their own and minister in the same way that Jesus did. He had passed on to them the Spirit and the anointing which He had. That is what I hope to receive from others when I am discipled by them.” (quotes used by permission)
Do you sense a need for someone to come alongside you to impart into you a greater anointing for success? Or are you successful in a certain area of life and feel that you would be beneficial in helping others reach their destination in that life goal?
I recently attended a mentoring conference through Judy Jacobs’ International Institute of Mentoring http://iiom.info/ and where I received an impartation and commissioning from her for a mentoring relationship for ministry. I expect to receive from her and that group the mentoring that I need to move forward in the ministry that I feel God has given me. There are others that I look to as mentors: my college instructor, who has been very helpful in mentoring me through the courses that I have been taking to obtain my bachelor’s degree; a former pastor that was very instrumental in God’s hand in molding me into the person that I am today, and others too numerous to count. I have found that I need mentors in my life in many areas, not just spiritual or ministry, but also in health and fitness and finances. Dave Ramsey has been very instrumental in my financial health and there are those that I am seeking out right now for more help in the health and fitness area of my life.
There are several things that a person needs to consider in choosing a prospective mentor: he/she appears to be ahead of me in the area in which I am seeking mentoring; I am comfortable with him/her; it appears that he/she would be willing to invest time in me; he/she appears to be humble and transparent; it appears that he/she can be trusted to be confidential; and I can sense that this is a person that I need to enter into a mentoring relationship with. In spiritual mentoring you would add to that list that he/she is a person who is under the spiritual covering of others; he/she appears to be able to sense the direction of God’s Spirit; he/she appears to have a good Biblical understanding and has allowed the Lord to heal his/her insecurities; he/she appears to have reflected on his/her life’s experiences and has seen God’s purposes in it and is a person that you can sense God saying this is the right mentor for me.
It’s important when choosing a mentor that you can see success in that person’s life. A good financial mentor would not be a person who’s finances are in disarray, but one who has shown success in managing their finances. A good health or fitness mentor would be one who shows good heath and fitness in their life. One who has succeeded in whatever area of mentoring that you need would be the one that you would want to lead you to success because it is through that relationship that you will receive of their spirit and anointing. Elisha asked Elijah to give him a double portion of the anointing that was on his life for ministry:
II Kings 2:9 And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”
Joshua served Moses and received an impartation of his spirit and anointing:
Numbers 27:18-23 And the LORD said to Moses: “Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; “set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and inaugurate him in their sight. “And you shall give some of your authority to him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. “He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire before the LORD for him by the judgment of the Urim. At his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, he and all the children of Israel with him—all the congregation.” So Moses did as the LORD commanded him. He took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation. And he laid his hands on him and inaugurated him, just as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.
We see in the New Testament that Paul mentored Timothy. He called him “a beloved son” and “a true son in the faith”.
II Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, a true son in the faith:….”
He told Timothy in II Timothy 1:13, 14: Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
Paul later told Timothy in II Timothy 2:1 to pass on those things that he had heard from Paul to men who were faithful and would be able to teach others.
Paul also mentored Titus and called him a “true son in our common faith”. (Titus 1:4) He instructed Titus, as well, to teach others by appointing elders in every city and setting in order the things that were lacking in those places. It is evident that God intended for us to mentor those coming up behind us.
We see in Paul’s letter to Titus that the older women were to teach the younger women. (Titus 2:3-5) And the older men were to set an example for the younger men to follow: one of being sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, and in patience.
So what does mentoring entail? It is a duplicating or replicating process of depositing into another person that which you have learned along the way through spiritual understanding, life’s experiences and knowledge that you might have acquired through personal study and revelation. To duplicate yourself is to leave a life legacy to those behind you, as it is transferred to another person and they, in turn, transfer it to someone else. For a Christian I believe it is a legacy of faith that is the greatest inheritance we can pass on to the younger generations!
One of the definitions of “replicate” is “to fold over or bend back”. That’s a really interesting definition, but just think about it for a minute. If you fold a paper over itself you have the exact same paper but now it has become two instead of one. It is the same paper, but simply multiplied exactly as it is. When you are mentored by a person for any length of time you become like that person. It reminds me of the old commercial that used to be on television of the dogs that resemble their owners.
And it is for that reason that you would want to choose a mentor that you know is highly respected in their field and is a person of integrity, honesty and upright character!
The ultimate mentor we see in the Bible, of course, is Jesus to His disciples. They lived with Him for less than three years and through His examples and teaching the world has been impacted and continues to spread the good news of the Gospel that Jesus died to give us. Generations later we are still receiving of the Spirit and anointing of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. He told His disciples in Matthew 10:8 “Freely you have received, freely give.” And again when He sent the seventy out he instructed them to “heal the sick” and “say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you’. Then when He ascended into heaven He left a mandate for all of us who would follow after Him that we should “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations….” (Matthew 28:19) It is evident that Jesus intended for us to be in mentoring relationships!
So, how do you know if you would make a good “mentee”? There are some “right attitudes” that need to be evident in your life to enable you to receive all that you would want from a mentoring relationship. Some questions you might ask yourself would be: do I have a humble and teachable attitude?; do I have a passionate desire to learn?; am I willing to be open and transparent?; and am I willing to follow an agreed-upon course of action?. Based on your answers to these questions you might see yourself as a willing or unwilling candidate for mentorship. Of course, the best answers would be “yes” which would indicate that you are, indeed, ready to receive the spirit and anointing of a mentor in the area of your need.
Sometimes in life we simply do not know which road to take. But the Bible tells us in Proverbs 28:18 that if we don’t have revelation or vision that we will cast off restraint, simply going with the flow of life with no particular direction or goals to guide us to success. To fail to plan is to plan to fail. When we “cast off restraint” we simply do whatever feels good at the moment which very seldom includes a plan of action that will bring the desired results that we wish to see. Another Proverb says that we are to be “diligent to know the state” of our flocks, and “attend to your herds”. (Proverbs 27:23) When we do that the Word says that we’ll have enough to provide for our families and the needs that we have. I have found throughout my life that if I seek God for His plan for success and I do my part in working towards it that He will bless my efforts and bring the desired achievements for success. I have a part to play in the life that He has given me and a responsibility to follow His directions. He often gives that to me through mentors.
Our ultimate Teacher and Helper is the Holy Spirit who comes alongside us to give us the directions and empowerment that we need for success. And God does work through His people. He says in His word in Ephesians 4:11-16 that He has placed certain people in our lives to instruct us and help us to attain the maturity of Christ Jesus. He describes each individual in the Body of Christ as being “a joint” that has a “supply” to give to help others in this journey to maturity. God uses His people to encourage, support, correct and instruct in the way to “growing up” in Him. Mentorship is one avenue to growth that we all should be taking advantage of!
Who do you respect and admire for their success in an area of your life that needs a new perspective? Will you seek out that person and see if he/she would be willing to mentor you? We all need a helping hand. What can or will you do to fulfill the mandate of Jesus to “make disciples”?
Father, I thank You for those that You have placed in my life as mentors. I thank You for working through them to help me be the person that You have designed and created me to be. Father, I pray that I will be able to pass on to others that which You have deposited in me, to leave a living legacy and inheritance of faith to the upcoming generations. May You be glorified in every mentoring relationship that I have and may I be one to whom You would entrust the care of those that would come to me for that “helping hand”. I ask You to bless those who have been so instrumental in my life and who have taken the time to deposit of themselves into me! May You receive the glory and honor for those mentoring relationships. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.