“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”
–John C. Crosby, American politician
Months ago, I was having breakfast with two friends that I met in seminary. As we gobbled down what appeared to be an Asian version of an American breakfast, we freely talked about what God was doing in our lives. We also talked about the challenges we were facing as pastors and we encouraged one another with the Word of God. I came out of that breakfast meeting feeling refreshed and exhilarated. As I went home, I thought to myself, “Why don’t believers do something like this more often?” Small but intentional times of discipleship like what we had that morning can have a significant impact in bringing people to deeper levels of following Jesus.
Intentional disciple-making and mentoring is something that we should consider doing more often. Jesus commanded us to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19, ESV). I believe part and parcel of the making of disciples is mentoring people on a regular basis to help them know God and His teachings and to help them be all that God has called them to be. It’s a task that we shouldn’t take lightly and it’s something that we should seriously consider as part of our life mission. How many of us know somebody who would probably flourish in their lives if only somebody took the time to walk alongside them and mentor them? I personally know countless numbers of people who would grow tremendously if a mentor came along. So why aren’t more people engaging in mentoring? There are plenty of reasons why. But one of the biggest reasons is a frequent lack of time. It takes a good amount of time to mentor another person and to mentor that person well.
It takes time to learn how to mentor somebody.
It takes time to regularly meet a person for mentoring.
It takes time to prepare prior to meeting a mentee.
It takes time to see a mentee grow and flourish.
It takes time to pray for a mentee and to follow them up.
And time is something that we seem to be constantly in short supply of. But I guess that’s where simplicity comes in. If we really want to mentor others, it’s going to be important for us to begin simplifying different parts of our lives. If we can simplify our schedules, I bet we’ll find that we have ample amount of time to walk alongside another person and mentor them. But if we keep complicating our lives, we’ll keep giving the same lame excuse. And that would be a tragedy in the kingdom of God because we have all been called to participate in the Great Commission by making disciples.