Jesus exemplified the example of mentoring during his ministry. His life was filled with pouring himself into the disciples. Jesus offered an alternative to the norm of being a Rabbi. He spent time with those that were not socially accepted as being worthy of relationship with a teacher. The fact that He called twelve disciples from various backgrounds reveals the heart of mentoring. Jesus saw the potential of the disciples before they were able to envision it for themselves. A mentoring leader is one that exhorts and teaches another person through a personal, intentional relationship. Jesus spent a majority of time with the disciples. He built a close and intimate relationship with them in order to share His grace and love. Jesus revealed how to live by example everyday. Jesus’ strength of communication was evident in teaching through stories, examples, and parables. He asked the right questions in difficult situations. Mentors are experts at asking the right questions rather than giving the answer away at first. Jesus was faithful in listening and guiding the disciples to become effective leaders. 3 Keys for Mentoring Leaders
1. Mentoring takes time. The issue in today’s culture that makes it difficult to mentor is the transient nature of people. People are constantly on the move towards careers and families. Mentoring is an intentional process of people committing to meet and grow.
2. Mentoring should be flexible to meet people at their point of need. The danger that comes in ministry is to become focused upon the program rather than relationships. Mentoring is messy and is not always predictable. Mentoring takes time, effort and prayer. It is not the easy road but leads to spiritual and Christ-like results in people’s lives.
3. The mentor must maintain a balance between the teaching and relationship aspect. Leading people to multiply themselves rather than focus only on one person is a way to avoid the notion of having “favorites.” Mentors need a mentor. If mentors continually give of themselves without having another person to encourage them, burnout will result.
Jesus equipped and led the disciples to lead the early church. Jesus’ ministry continued after He left for Heaven. Mentoring is all about passing on the values, principles, and practices of effective leadership.