I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in Her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is Entrusted: A Study of 2nd Timothy, a new 6-session Bible study by Beth Moore (our Women’s Team helped with this blog).
In the New Testament, a Christian not in community is an oxymoron, as the Christian life is not meant to be lived in isolation. We need each other. We need the strength, comfort, and encouragement found in community. When we think about Christian community, we likely envision our local church or our Sunday School class or small group. However, another important opportunity to live in community, that too few of us take advantage of, is in a mentoring relationship.
Mentoring has been a vital part of church life and spiritual formation for centuries, and we see it demonstrated in Scripture. Jesus called 12 men to instruct and teach. He then spent even more time with 3 of the 12 and had an even closer relationship with 1—the apostle John, who called himself “the one Jesus loved.”
In Acts we note that Aquila and Priscilla took Apollos under their wing to disciple and mentor him. In Paul’s letter to Titus, he instructs the young pastor at Crete to have the older women teach the younger women.
Throughout his ministry, Paul mentored several men, most notably his son in the faith, Timothy, whom he challenged to invest in others who would invest in others: “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
God uses mentoring relationships in at least five ways:
All of us need someone to be accountable to. We need someone to hold our feet to the fire of truth, someone we can be completely honest with and who will be completely honest with us. Living without accountability can lead us down a dangerous and destructive path.
We need to be continual students. The maturing process for a Christian has one stopping place—the grave. Until that time, we need to be learning, growing, and gaining wisdom. We need more mature, learned godly men or women sharing with us what they have learned from God’s Word and their walk with Him.
There is so much in our world that breathes discouragement and despair. We need continual encouragement to walk in the way opposite of the patterns of this world.
Sometimes we just need a reminder that we don’t know everything. We need to sit in the place of submission and be taught, led, and shaped. Being in a relationship with someone wiser and more experienced than us in certain aspects of the faith reminds us we have a long way to go.
Not only do we need someone pouring into us, we need to pour into someone else. That’s how this great faith has been passed along for centuries. That is how the Lord expands His kingdom. As you begin to learn, grow, and mature, find someone else to invest in.
We are excited to introduce a new study by Beth Moore that will put a spotlight on the mentoring relationship between Paul and Timothy. Entrusted, a six-week study on 2 Timothy will dive deep into Paul’s good-bye letter to his beloved son in the faith. This study will help us see that God has entrusted to all of us the gospel and the gifting to share it. Participants will be challenged not to be afraid or ashamed to live out their calling as mighty servants of God. Each session will feature video teaching by Beth, followed by five days of personal study. This study can be used in a number of settings, including a mentoring relationship.