The Life of a Mentor

The life and ministry of Jesus gives us a perfect example of what the mentoring process should look like. His relationship and interaction with his disciple serves as a pattern for us today. The training of these twelve men was a priority to Jesus. He knew why he had been sent to earth and knew someone would be needed to carry on the ministry once he was gone.

The bible gives us many scripture passages that describe why Jesus came to earth. In John’s gospel Jesus tells us that he came that the world might be saved (John 3:16-17). In his epistle John says that the Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Matthew quotes Jesus as saying that the Son of Man came to serve and to give his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). Luke writes that Jesus said the he came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). Jesus also shared in the synagogue the mission given to him by the Father.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set a liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord…
(Luke 4:18-19)

There is another reason Jesus came that is one of great importance. Jesus came to glorify the Father. In other words he came to show the world what the Father is like. The life of Jesus was total abandonment of self to the obedience of the Father’s will. Jesus’ life was centered in the Father’s will (John 5:30). He always did what he saw the Father doing (John 5:19). He always said what he heard from the Father (John 12:49). His teaching focused on the heart of the Father. Everything Jesus did drew attention to the Father. When he chose his disciples to be with him it was so he could show them the Father (John 10:30; 14:7-10).

To show what the Father is like is the primary goal of mentoring. The life of a mentor should glorify God. Those who are being mentored must see the life of Jesus lived out in the mentor. This is far more important than learning chord progressions, vocal techniques, or song selection. The mentor must lead his disciple to the Father. He does this not only by how he leads worship and what he says but also how he lives.

A mentor (or any believer for that matter) should have the Father’s will at the center of his life. He must not only know the Father’s will but have the Father’s heart. Knowing the Father’s will and having the Father’s heart only comes through intimate relationship with the Father. Intimacy is only accomplished by spending time with the Father.

Many times in the gospels we read where Jesus drew himself away from ministry to spend time with Father. A mentor must be careful not to allow ministry to take the place of intimacy. When ministry begins to take the place of relationship or intimacy with the Father, the mentor will have a tendency to draw others to himself instead of God. The anointing to lead worship doesn’t come from doing it like someone else. It doesn’t come from good musicianship, vocal ability or a certain musical style. The anointing comes from intimacy with the Father. To be an effective worship leader one has to know the mind and heart of the Father. The only place that is learned is through intimate relationship. A good mentor will help and encourage his disciple to develop that relationship.

Several years ago I began to pray a short prayer before I started each worship service. It goes something like this, “Holy Spirit lead us into the worship that best pleases the Father.” My goal in praying that is to remind myself and those who are worshiping with me that the Holy Spirit is the worship leader. He knows the mind and heart of the Father. Because we are in relationship he will tell me what is on the Father’s heart so we can worship him in spirit and truth. What was anointed the last time we worshiped may not be anointed the next time. The goal is what the Father wants.

A few years ago I was in a small group meeting with my friend Gary (whom I had a small part in mentoring). He was leading worship and before it began he prayed, “Holy Spirit lead us into the worship that best pleases the Father.” I wanted to shout. Why? Because HE GOT IT! To be honest I didn’t know anyone was really listening to my prayer, but Gary was and he understood the principal behind it. Our leading styles and musical tastes differ some, but it was never my goal for Gary to be just like me. My goal was that he would develop his own relationship with the Father so he could lead worship the way the Father desired.

As mentors we miss the mark if we make disciples of ourselves. Our goal is make disciples of Jesus. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, Imitate me as I imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1) We must imitate Christ so that those we lead will see Him.