In Part One, we looked at
the powerful mentoring examples of Moses and Joshua. Let’s
look now at the greatest mentor of all, Jesus, and how He developed
some of His mentees during His years on earth.
Jesus the Master Mentor. Jesus’ impact
on people and influence on their lives was and still is astonishing.
The fact that Christianity spread to most of the known world at
that time and is still alive and growing after 2,000 years bears
wonderful testimony to the power of God and the efficacy of Christ’s
earthly ministry. He and His ministry have powerfully touched
individuals’ spiritual commitment and growth. Jesus has
also been able to influence all other areas of individual lives—intellectual,
emotional, social, and physical—always focusing His
efforts on His mentees’ relationships with God. That’s
Jesus’ portrayal of Discipling—what we choose to label
here as Christ-centered mentoring.
Christ’s mentoring approaches were diverse, comprehensive,
and effective. Consider these for your own mentoring ventures:
1. Jesus observed and listened attentively.
The gospels are full of examples of Jesus’ not only listening
to but also understanding unexpressed concerns and questions.
2. Jesus stimulated trust.
The disciples’ hope was based upon His commitment to do
the things He said. For example, when He kept His word and appeared
to them after His resurrection, the disciples’ trust increased.
3. Jesus encouraged them.
Jesus encouraged His followers in many ways including using positively
reinforcing words and phrases.
4. Jesus used powerful teaching.
He used provocative lectures, a multitude of settings and experiences,
and employed “job shadowing” techniques, particularly
with His 12 disciples. (That is, He asked them to accompany Him
in order to see and hear Him doing His work.)
5. Jesus provided them with opportunities to excel.
Jesus gave his followers the chance to make a positive earthly
impact followed by eternal opportunities. He gave His disciples
opportunities to preach, teach, encourage, heal, and otherwise
impact the world.
6. Jesus gave corrective feedback.
Throughout the gospels, Jesus offered corrective feedback to
the distorted and uninformed beliefs of those who followed Him.
7. Jesus communicated a vision and His goal.
Followers of Jesus Christ understood that following Him implied
sharing in His goals for them and serving His eternal purposes.
He described His vision of how He hoped the disciples would serve
the Kingdom after His death.
8. Jesus served multiple mentees, one-on-one
and in groups.
Much of His most powerful mentoring was with His 12 disciples.
He worked one-on-one with each man and selected three (Peter,
James, and John) for extra time and intimate experiences with
them. He also interacted with the group as a whole and had hundreds
if not thousands of followers such as Cleopas, Nathanael, Levi
the tax collector, and Joseph of Arimathea, who also developed
because of His influence.
9. Jesus gave them authority, commissioned,
and empowered them.
Most of us mentors don’t commission our mentees to go out
and use the power and authority we grant them. Thankfully, Jesus
did! He empowered His disciples for the specific purpose of their
preaching the good news of the Kingdom and promoting their obedience
to Jesus in all respects—not just enjoying the knowledge
of His precepts.
For more information on Biblical examples of mentoring, see What
the Bible Teaches about Mentoring: A Case for Discipling with
a Capital D.