IS MENTORING THAT IMPORTANT ???????
If I could shout it from the rooftops I would say yes, yes,yes.
You may ask why ? Let me tell you why I personally believe it is essential.
1. I was never mentored myself.
2. I had to learn the hard way how to live the Christian Life.
(a) I struggled for years to develop an effective fulfilling prayer life
(b) I had to struggle for years to learn how to protect my mind.
(c) I didn’t know why the Word of God was so important in my personal life. I didn’t know God wanted to take the Logos Word and make it a Rhema word to produce faith in my life.
In 3 months time I will have been a born again Christian 63 years. As a 10 year old boy I knelt at the altar (mercy seat) in a local Salvation Army hall at the end of Sunday School and asked Jesus to come into my heart. When I stood to my feet I knew I had been changed on the inside. I went home to my alcoholic parents and sought to begin to live the Christian life.
I SO WISH SOMEONE HAD DISCIPLED ME AND WALKED WITH ME.
I have so much to thank God for, the influences of the Salvation Army and then the Pentecostal Movement all had many positive effects on my life. But I guess every stream in the Body of Christ, has its strengths and weaknesses, some may call it baggage.
I knew as a 14 year old I had the call of God on my life for ministry, so I had one goal to go to Bible College and train as a minister. When I graduated I knew without a doubt my calling was to be a Pastor, the understanding of the calling to be a teacher came much later.
Right from my first church I had a burden to help new believers to grow in grace, but I didn’t really know how to do it. Eventually some understanding came, for example in our last church I conducted with my Pastoral staff a Timothy Class and we saw trmendous growth in many of the Timothys. Thinking about it in my second last church there are a number of young men who actually became full time Pastors, so I must have been doing something right.
When I received the invitation to teach in a Bible College, my wife’s response was I knew you would end up investing in people full time in a Bible College. This we did for 19 years full time.
So many who are not discipled/mentored slowly (or sometimes quickly) fall away. Others become very religious, and do not develop a fulfilling Christian life.We would never throw a baby into a swimming pool and say swim, but somehow think a Discipleship class or letting people observe you is sufficient. Others only only after MANY years seem to get it together.They may get touched and challenged in a special series of meetings or a church camp, but after a few weeks slip back into their old ways.
I AM ENJOYING MY CHRISTIAN LIFE MORE TODAY, THAN AT ANY TIME IN MY LIFE.
Discipleship and Mentoring is all about laying right foundations. I will not suggest that what I do is the only way but it sure works for me. Let me remind you what I do.
The psalmist tells us (Ps.66.18) that if I have sin in my heart God is NOT listening. So I pray Ps.139.23-24 every time I come into the presence of God asking God to search my heart. I don’t know about you but I can’t remember all my sins.
I then accept the Lord’s invitation to come with CONFIDENCE AND BOLDLY to God’s throne of Grace, from which flows a river of grace and mercy, and help, and I step in to that river, and embrace my forgiveness whic hwas purchased for me on Calvary 2000 years ago.
The result, a VERY CONSCIOUS AWARENESS I am clean, I am forgiven, that produces such a sweet peace and a bubbling joy in my heart. I know I now have an OPEN HEAVEN and can spend time with the Lover of my soul. I do mot have a “sin mentality” and neither do I dare take the Lord’s grace for granted, but seek to live a holy pure life every day.
Another area that I am starting to enjoy more is what some people call the “Grace Life”. Some of the baggage that I mentioned earlier was a legalism. Sadly, one thing you learn from those around you can be a list of THOU SHALT NOTS.
The Christian life is not a set of rules, Yes, God has written His laws on the fleshy tables of our heart, but we should not live with a whole bunch of negatives “thou shalt nots” but learn to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and what the Word of God teaches, and joyfully walk in His will fullfilling His purposes in our life just like King David did.
One of the most common problems in church life is something that someone says to us, or a letter is not either not written as well as it could have been, and the written or spoken words are misinterpreted and we let anger and unforgiveness grip our hearts, The write to Hebrews talks about the “root of bitterness”. Sadly, this will happen numerous times in your life, your choice is to quickly kill the “root” and forgive or let it rob you of your joy and peace. Many things things happen like the above many are totally unintentional. Let us remember Rom.8.28 ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD. The Lord permits these things to happen, maqy we learn quickly to use them as stepping stones not stumbling blocks.
I found a Mentor some years ago, and his ministry to me has been awesome for which I thank God.
I am sure many of my readers today can relate to much of the above, please prayerfully look for a Mentor just initially as a friend and as you learn to relate well, then ask him to walk with you and speak into your life.
WE CANNOT CHANGE THE PAST, BUT WE CAN CHANGE THE PRESENT AND WE CAN HAVE A GLORIOUS FUTURE.
let us truly ENJOY OUR GOD.