This is how our faith carries on

Biblical mentorship … what is it? Why do it?

Proverbs 19:20 says, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”

The problem

What do you do when you don’t know what to do, whether you are a church member or the pastor? I began in ministry when I was 20 years old and I didn’t even know all that I did not know at that point! At the age of 37 and in my first senior pastorate, I am just now figuring out all that I do not know. So what do you do when you don’t know what to do?

What the Bible says

2 Timothy 2:2-3 says, “ … and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” Paul tells Timothy there are men who have been entrusted with wisdom and men who need to be entrusted with wisdom.

For those who have been entrusted, Paul tells Timothy (I’m paraphrasing here): “Don’t take what you have heard and keep it to yourself! Don’t gain wisdom only to clench onto it for yourself. Rather, take what God has given me to teach you and you, likewise, teach faithful men who don’t know what to do. Do this so they, in turn, will be able to teach other faithful men to share in the suffering of being a good soldier of Jesus Christ! In other words, Timothy, reproduce yourself!”

What about those who don’t know what to do? As young (or “youngish”) men in ministry who often don’t know what to do, what can we learn from this passage?

  1. We need to recognize that there have been faithful men who have come before us and have been entrusted by God with wisdom. We need to listen to them. Seek them out, invite them to lunch, take a notebook, ask them what they would tell themselves at your age, and listen. Absorb and learn from the wisdom they have to share.
  2. As we who are younger become older, grow in the wisdom of the Lord, and hear from God during the seasons in our lives, we also then need to entrust that wisdom and experience to the faithful men coming after us.

Christian mentorship is a non-ending process. At any given time, we should all be mentored by someone more mature in the faith than ourselves while also mentoring someone who is still growing in their faith.

Who are you being mentored by today? Who are you mentoring today? It can’t be no one—it must be someone!

I praise God that He placed mature men in the faith in my life. Those men mentored and poured in to me so that I am now able to share and pour in to men growing in their faith and how they can better fight their sin and glorify God as a good soldier of Christ Jesus! Let’s all be about continually producing the next generation to glorify Jesus

Senior Pastor
Jonathan Coleman
Mission Dorado Baptist Church, Odessa
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