The Principles of Mentoring Part 3
Our key text is taken from the scriptures according to John 5:19-20
A warning should ideally be placed at the beginning of this mentoring section that I’ve intentionally left for the end. That warning is: when mentoring is effectively applied, it will provide undeniable results – good or bad.
It’s strange how the Body of Christ works because the world “gets” mentoring. They know how to effectively apply it yet we don’t seem to want to give it the serious attention it deserves. Some places of work have mentoring or “buddy” programs. They take their standouts and pair them with a promising (potential filled) new recruit. They “yoke” them together to drive the same results out of them (those of you with enough agricultural knowledge should understand the implications of that).
Growing up in London, I saw the same thing with gang culture. In order to understand how to handle the streets and successfully navigate the perils of such a life, you had a mentor! Most of the young people I know wouldn’t think about it in such a way but nothing rings truer to mentorship than taking on another’s name as a persona of yours. I remember that most people who wanted to get into the gang life were known as somebody’s “younger” – e.g; ‘Younger Danger’, with ‘Danger’ being the original (the mentor) and the “younger” being the replica-in-waiting.
“And He will show Him greater works than these, so that you may marvel.”
Jesus rounds up the mentoring relationship that He has with The Father with this explanation of what happens when mentoring is correctly implemented. After observing The Father, then The Father showing Him how He does things, Jesus will inevitably demonstrate the same results as The Father. The more Jesus proves Himself in the place of obedience, the more The Father shows Him new things to make us marvel.
When you walk in a mentoring relationship with Jesus, you gain access to His mentor. We are called to learn of Him. To understand how He did things, how He wants things done and how we should behave in EVERY situation. This is the great secret that Enoch, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Daniel, Stephen, Paul and all the great men and women of Faith knew.
Why else would God introduce Himself with reference to other people (see Genesis 26:24; 28:13)? We should pay careful attention to Exodus 3:6 where God introduces Himself to Moses as the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. Let’s put this in context, if you received a phone call from a stranger and they introduced themselves saying they are the person behind the successes of Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet and Lakshmi Mittal, would you hang up?
Moses knew exactly who he was dealing with because the Person that spoke to him from that burning bush established immediately that He was credible through His track record of results! Peter employed this same tactic at the gate called Beautiful when sharing The Gospel of Christ (Acts 3:12-16).
When you are mentored properly, you will display the same results as your mentor, as a MINIMUM. In Christian circles, we call this discipling. Jesus chose twelve to mentor – to show them the things He learned from The Father. What further proof do we need of Christ doing the things He sees The Father do but to compare Mark 4:33-34 to Numbers 12:6-8? God spoke to Moses, not like He spoke to every other PROPHET but He made Himself plain to Him. In the same manner, Jesus gave parables to everybody else and then called His disciples aside to them the plain meaning behind it all!
“He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.”
– Psalms 103:7
Consider the following men who were diligent during in their mentorship and look at what was made available to them: Joshua, Elisha, Daniel & Paul. They got both the acts and the ways of God.
There are so many dimensions to mentoring and the most important thing to remember is that mentoring, when properly implemented and executed, will result in a transfer of spirit and a springboard effect – your results should exceed your mentor. Just look at the relationships of Abraham & Isaac – Abraham dug wells and Isaac dug in the exact same places to using the exact same names his father had given them (Genesis 26) to receive a greater blessing; Moses & Joshua – Moses parted the Red Sea (Terrestrial), Joshua stopped the Sun & Moon (Celestial); Elijah & Elisha – Elijah commanded fire from Heaven, Elisha raised a man from the dead, after he had died!!
Throughout this series, I have been careful to instruct that mentoring is an imparting of one’s spirit into another. This means that, when well executed, the mentored will even take on the same personality of the mentor! This is why some people who are mentored continue into the same mistakes of their mentors despite the warning signs being there. Look at biblical examples: Abraham & Isaac again – both men lied to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, that their wife was their sister (Genesis 20:1-11 vs Genesis 26:1-11; Elijah & Elisha – Elijah was a hothead and it should be no surprise that Elisha’s reaction to the insults at being a bald-headed was what we see in 2Kings 2:23-24.
It should also not surprise us that the mentored face the same challenges as their mentors and have to overcome those first to access the “greater things” Christ speaks of. Isaac had to overcome Abimelech just as his father had done, Joshua parted the river Jordan just as Moses had parted the Red Sea and Elisha performed two miracles involving provision through oil and also a resurrection, just as Elijah had done! This is the nature of a mentoring relationship.
By the time Joshua had come to be mentored by Moses, the temperamental side of Moses had been significantly subdued within the Holiness of God. Let us be continually aware of the personalities and the challenges that our mentors face for this is the template that we will choose to embrace and this is why process must be handled by somebody who can pour out their heart and received by somebody willing to submit. One of the most unique things about a mentor, and one that sets them apart from others, is that they must realise that in engaging in a mentoring relationship, they are preparing somebody who will eventually outdo them. It is a true act of selflessness and a key indicator of a heart of giving.
I’ll leave you with these words from our Lord, Jesus the Christ. If you read the rest of the chapter, you’ll see how the Pharisees reacted to Jesus calling Himself “I AM”. There’s that replication again.
Remember, God is rooting for you and waiting to help you – He wants you to win!
God bless you.