[NTCP] mentoring news

forwarded 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 
Godís Word.

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 
evangelicals today.

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 
of theory. 

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 
apply both.

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), 
visit <http://www.AcquireWisdom.com>.
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.

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