Mentoring: God’s Pattern for Developing Leaders
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 11:1
Mentoring is not a specific term that appears in Scripture, but the concept is found throughout the old and new testaments. The pattern of wise and trusted counselors or teachers investing in the lives of others was a common practice for transferring wisdom from one generation to the next. It’s evident that mentoring is part of God’s pattern for developing leaders.
Here are some of the mentoring relationships from the Bible that are probably most familiar to you:
- Jethro and Moses
- Moses and Joshua
- Naomi and Ruth
- Deborah and Barak
- Elijah and Elisha
- Elisabeth and Mary
- Barnabas and Paul
- Paul and Timothy
Jesus, the greatest leadership role model in all of history, took a very direct approach to mentoring. He openly invited men and women to follow him. Then He told them exactly what He would train them to do.
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
– Matthew 4:19
Jesus challenged His followers to observe His example. He urged them to have eyes to see what He did and ears to hear what He said. He asked good questions to ensure they understood who He was and the significance of why He came.
And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”
– Mark 8:29
When you read Matthew 10:5-15, you observe Jesus giving His disciples very specific instructions before sending them out on their first evangelistic assignment. He outlined the potential outcomes and encouraged them to stay the course. He empowered and assured them that they had nothing to fear. He carefully equipped them so that they would be fully ready to ultimately receive the great commission and the Holy Spirit, Who would be their constant Guide.