[NTCP] mentoring news
forwarded at housechurch.org
Wed May 26 13:41:29 EDT 2004
BlankMentorNet # 23
Applications of Christian Mentoring
Copyright © 2004 by George Patterson and Galen Currah
The Holy Spirit uses Christian mentors in several powerful ways for the
benefit of congregations and communities. Commonly practiced applications
of Christian mentoring include these:
1. Christians mentor others for non-pastoral purposes. Many Christian
coaches, teachers, caring neighbors and business associates let their
light shine for Christ by giving loving attention and guidance in
non-religious areas of life.
2. Others make disciples of new believers and their families,
establishing the foundations of obedience and faith.
3. Parents train their children by example to pray daily and to feed on
4. Some counsel persons and families that have problems. This type of
mentoring is often called ëmember careí.
5. More-experienced Christian workers apprentice less-experienced ones
for church ministries, such as helping believers to do better counseling,
to witness for Christ, to training others, and to implement mercy
6. Shepherds and missionaries apprentice novice leaders, including
shepherding elders (pastors), church planters and other types of
missionaries, by training them the way Jesus and His apostles did so in
the New Testament. For example, a pastor of a mother church may coach a
less-experienced pastor in a daughter church.
The authors of MentorNet serve almost exclusively with the last of those
listed above, apprenticing novice leaders. Mentored training is perhaps
one of the most neglected areas of vital, fruitful ministry among
Mentoring as a method to train new leaders was developed and used widely
by Godís people long before Mentor (from whose name the word derives)
served as a counselor to Odysseus in Homerís Iliad. Today, secular
educators and trainers take advantage of mentoring more wisely and widely
than do most Evangelical Christian training institutions.
It is sad that so many Bible colleges and seminaries overlook such a
biblical, proven form of education. Thus, many young people in training
are being robbed of one of Godís most precious endowments to His church.
George Patterson recalls, "God used mentors (although we did not call
them that at the time) to prepare me to receive Christ, lead my wife and
me to a mission field, and to follow New Testament guidelines when we got
there. Almost weekly I hear someone mention similar fruit from mentoring,
including some in the secular world."
How prevalent was mentoring as a training tool among Godís people in the
Bible? Scripture shows many instances of mentoring. Some trained "one on
one," others coached several at once. The size of the group must be small
enough for all to listen to each other and to deal with their concerns.
Jesus sometimes mentored twelve, other times three or even one. In
Scripture, mentoring resulted in generational 'chains' with several
'links' of mentors whose apprentices mentored others, and so on.
Some of the mentoring chains found in Scripture include these:
Jethro mentored Moses,
Moses mentored Joshua and the elders of Israel.
Joshua mentored the other army leaders.
God originally gave the Ten Commandments for the use of newly-named
elders. These included leaders of 10, of 50, of 100 and of 1000. The
shepherding of the people occurred mostly in small groups of ten (Exodus
Deborah mentored Barak.
Eli mentored Samuel
Samuel mentored Saul and David who became Israelís greatest king.
Ahithophel and Nathan the prophet also mentored David.
David mentored his army commanders and government officials, to establish
the united nation of Israel. David also mentored Solomon.
Solomon mentored the Queen of Sheba, who returned to her people with his
wisdom in the form of Proverbs that applied Godís law.
Elijah mentored Elisha.
Elisha mentored king Jehoash and others.
Daniel mentored Nebuchadnezzar, who humbled himself before God.
Mordecai mentored Esther
Esther mentored King Artaxerxes, which resulted in liberating Godís
Jesus mentored the twelve apostles who established the Christian church.
The twelve mentored hundreds of other leaders, including Paul.
Paul mentored Titus, Timothy and many others (2 Timothy 2:2).
Timothy mentored "faithful men" such as Epapharas.
Epaphras and the other faithful men mentored "others alsoî which led to a
chain reaction that resulted in dozens of new churches in Asia
(Colossians 1:1 & 7; 4:12-13).
Philip mentored the Ethiopian official who received Christ and was
baptized in the desert.
Priscilla and Aquila mentored Apollos, for a much improved ministry.
In most ministries across most nations, it is far wiser for you to mentor
novice leaders on the job, to meet the needs of new cells and
congregations, than it would be to send them away to Bible school or
seminary to learn an analytical, lecture method of education with a lot
Such graduates may consider themselves to be professionals and expect to
be given congregations that can support the life style of a professional.
Likewise, they often cause their congregations to stagnate. After months
or years of practical service, some mentored leaders may benefit from
more formal education, especially if they must communicate with more
highly educated people in urban communities. The authors of MentorNet
teach in both arenas, making a clear distinction of where and when to
We urge you to consider prayerfully the potential value of various
applications of mentoring for your church or organization, keeping in
mind that the final purpose for which God inspired Scripture was not
simply to inform us but that Godís people may be equipped for every good
work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
To find mentoring tools and sites, visit
For information on Train & MultiplyÆ write George Patterson
<GPatterson at MentorNet.ws>.
For information on how to obtain, T&MÆ, visit
To obtain free, reproducible training materials, visit
To download or purchase ìCome, Let Us Disciple the Nationsî (CD-ROM),
Order Church Multiplication Guide from a bookshop or
To view or download earlier MentorNet messages, visit
New Testament Church Proliferation is sponsored by the House Church Network.
New Testament Church Proliferation has been renamed. These discussions, via the web, now occur at the Radically Christian Cafe.