Jesus chose to invest most of his personal time and energy in ministry in developing twelve Disciples. Mentoring is an essential component of Discipleship where knowledge, wisdom, and skills are shared among a few individuals for the sake of passing on what’s been learned to others who have yet to come.
Intentional Faith Development means you are growing from the influence of a personal mentor and you are intentionally acting as a mentor for others.
Spiritual mentoring is Relational, Purposeful, and Personal
…and involves Listening, Guiding, and Modeling.
Mentoring is different from didactic or “explicit” learning often found in a classroom between teacher and student. Spiritual Mentoring can happen effectively in one-one relationships, triads, and small groups or cohorts.
Examples of Mentoring* in the Church:
(*Mentoring- like each IFD Stepping Stone- is used very broadly here. Other sources will define it more narrowly contrasting it with coaching, spiritual direction, etc. while we offer them as different types of mentoring.)
“In spite of Jesus’ clear strategy of calling people from the crowds an focusing on a few, we continue to rely on preaching and programs as the means to make disciples…Discipleship is fundamentally a relational process.” –Transforming Discipleship, Greg Ogden
In our highly individualized society, learning and discovery can all be self-taught and self-driven. Technology has made it easy to “figure out” your own spirituality or the opposite to teach in mass and at a distance. Yet, Jesus chose a highly relational and intimate way of passing on the faith—through mentoring. Churches and church leaders need to recover the habit of mentoring to make and grow disciples of Jesus Christ.