“….go and make disciples………” Matthew 28:19
Did you catch that? Read it again. Don’t miss it!!
It’s a command. There is no “if you feel called” or “if you don’t mind.” It is simply put as “go and….” Jesus had gone through the most horrific death imaginable. After coming out of the grave of death, He walked among His followers for another 40 days before returning to His Father in heaven. And He didn’t miss the opportunity to give one last instruction to His followers. “Go. Everything you learned from Me you should be able to now duplicate in the lives of others.” A body of believers that is not actively mentoring is not taking serious these particular words from Christ, or doesn’t have a full understanding of the importance.
Mentoring is duplication. It’s an art that is learned at the feet of someone else. Duplication is the reflection of an original. It takes effort. It is intentional. Jesus intentionally choose His disciples and ‘did life’ with them daily. He intentionally walked out of His way to meet the woman at the well. There was intentional purpose in His going to see Lazarus after the burial. There was intent on choosing Judas to live among them. Every intentional action had been previously thought out and planned.
Mentoring is intentional. I recall a time when I was being asked to oversee a ministry. It was an area of ministry new to me so I had questions. As I sought out details of my responsibilities I asked, “Who am I accountable to? Who will be checking on me to make sure I’m staying on track and doing well in my own spiritual walk?” The answer surprised me. I was given a name and told, “If you need anything, this is who you can contact.”
If I need anything? Here I am possibly about to say yes to one area of ministry that I was not trained in. An area where I would be pouring into the lives of others weekly. No doubt there would be things I would need. But the answer left me with a feeling of being pushed aside. The feeling of ‘if this area is covered, we are happy.’ Truth was they didn’t see me as someone who needed mentoring. They trusted me. But it left me thinking of all the ones who did need mentoring. What if they were put in this same position? What would happen to who they were to be ministering to? Truth was, like anyone else, I am human with faults and need to be held accountable. And in this case, I had just gone through some tough times myself and needed to know I was cared about as a person. Not for my gifts and abilities, but for who I am every day as a person. I needed someone to intentionally ask me how I was doing.
It’s ingrained in all of us. That need to know someone cares. You know, REALLY cares for you as a person. Not your gifts or talents. But you. Individually. We all need accountability. We also need the friend who will intentionally put aside time to talk with us. That one who has walked the road already and is willing to mentor us in our new season until we are ready to intentionally mentor someone else who will come after us.
Intentional duplication. If we care for others, intentional acts will follow. Not the stopping to say ‘hi’ just when we see each other. It’s the spur of the moment, ‘I was thinking of you…..let’s do coffee’ type of intentional.
The flower and note left on a friend’s desk.
Picking up the paper of our elderly neighbor.
Taking a meal to a family.
Seeking out someone just to say ‘hi’ and let them know you are thankful for them.
It’s all intentional. And it matters. Christ did it. We all want it.
Let’s start a movement of mentoring…….INTENTIONALLY!