On Wednesday I shared that we are to be mentors. It’s not just something we do, but who we are. Each one of us should be mentoring or influencing someone no matter how small we may think it is.
I shared about spiritual mentoring, coming a long side someone in order to help them grow up in Christ. To encourage them toward “self-feeders” rather than those who still need to be fed through other’s word and study of the Word.
Sadly though, the older more mature in their faith at not doing this, if they were we would see (I believe) a bigger impact of the church in our communities. We would have fewer Christians whining about being fed and wanting programs to fit their needs and more followers of Christ out there making disciplines.
Please understand that I believe all Christ followers are to mentor, they are to disciple, encourage and walk along others to help them in their walk. It’s not an option, it is a mandate. And if it is a mandate then why are so many living in disobedience.
If it is a mandate then why do I so often approach it as if I can choose? I recently have been confronted by the realization that my life at all times should being influencing others toward Christ. My walk, my talk, my entire life should point others to a deeper, healthier walk with God.
I have been a believer for about 35 years, been in numerous Bible studies, attended conferences, sat in church, read Christian books, studied God’s word and for what?
So that I can gain knowledge? So that I can be fat spiritually? No! At this point I should be out their pour out what I have learned into the lives of others. I should be mentoring, encouraging, loving, disciplining and allowing the fruit of God that has been grown in me to be shared with others.
There are so many Christians that should be out there pouring what they know about Jesus and living in faith into others and are not.
I wonder why? I mean if you really love Jesus, and you understand the love, mercy, grace and freedom His has to offer wouldn’t you be out there telling everyone? Wouldn’t you want to help others see their hurt and pain in light of the truth of the gospel?
Surely the answer would be yes! Right? But what do my actions show? What do yours show?
So then, why is it that we do not not want to be mentors? I think there are hundreds of thousands of reasons, but they really fall into 3 categories. Satan. The world. Our Flesh.
Satan and his demonic forces have been working sense the beginning of time to come between God and His children. He knows that if he can isolate us, remove us from the larger community then he has a better chance of making us ineffective for kingdom work. Please understand that I am not saying that once we are Children of God Satan can do anything to change that, but he can and does make us ineffective in our ministries.
He does this through various methods, but I think his most effective is through lies. He whispers that we must be perfect before we can mentor, or that we have too many weaknesses or failures. He lies to us about who we really are and causes fear, shame, and often self loathing to the point that we see ourselves as unusable because of past sins, hurts or failure.
When we read examples in scripture such as Paul when he said “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1); “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice” (Phil. 4:9).” In other words, “Let me mentor you. Let me be your role model.” Satan will tell us but that was Paul, YOU could never be a Paul!
Then there is the pull of the world. We live in a world that says each man is out for his own. “It’s a dog eat dog world” and we are too busy with stuff to have time for people. So often we fall into the trap of living for earthly rewards instead of heavenly rewards. And when our focus is here on earth we will never have time to do the eternal. Building relationships, pour out ourselves into others will not be a priority.
Often we will hear from the world (um and Satan) that we are not smart enough or have enough education to have influence over anyone. It’s just a lie…
Of course another enemy we fight is our own flesh. Our flesh that says I am more important and I need me time. I don’t have time to pour out into anyone, I want others pouring into me! The flesh will cry, “I am more important than you!”
I know there are many other things that keep us from mentoring like many just don’t want to “count the cost” of what it means. It can get messy and be hurtful at times to pour our lives out. It means dying to the flesh and frankly we don’t want to. But it would just get too long to mention them all. I hope you get the idea – everything fights against us to get involved in the lives of others and to influence them toward spiritual growth.
Oh my dear sisters. Our enemy know that if he can get us alone and out of community he has a better shot of rendering us inactive in the spiritual life. He knows that if he can keep you, and the church from growing spiritually, with a body of believers in vital relationships with each hen half the battle is won. Satan wants us to be content with the status quo of our relationship with God instead of learning how to hear from God ourselves.
Larry Krieder says
“It was a lack of mature leadership in the Corinthian church that stunted the believers’ spiritual growth. Unequipped to grow up spiritually, they struggled to find their identity in Christ. They did not know who they were in the Lord. Deficient of true spiritual fathers to model fatherhood, the Corinthian church had become a system that produced programs and teachers, not a family producing sons and daughters.
… What they really needed were spiritual fathers and mothers to pay close attention to them so that they could be nudged toward maturity. They needed spiritual parents to sow into their lives, expecting them eventually to become spiritual parents themselves, creating a spiritual harvest of believers with Christ-grounded identities that would continue to multiply down through the generations.
God’s intention is to produce spiritual parents who are willing to nurture spiritual children and help them grow into spiritual parents. …As children mature, they in turn must nurture the next generation.”*
Our enemy understands this and fights against it. He does not want to see this generation producing spiritual children who will in turn nurture the next.
So let me ask you, and myself, “what will you do?” How are you going to influence the next generation for Christ? No matter what season of life you are in, no matter your background God has called you to a make an impact for the kingdom in your circle of influence.
*Authentic Spiritual Mentoring; Nurturing Believers Toward Spiritual Maturity. Author, Larry Kreider; Published by Regal from Gospel Light, 2008