Sentinels For Christ :: Choosing a Mentor

CHOOSING A MENTOR...

The Model Jesus Used...

Discipleship is a partnership relationship.  Recently the term "spiritual director" has been used in some circles to explain the relationship. Whatever you call it, there is no such life of a disciple without being a disciple.  Many believers, unfortunately launch themselves into the Christian life and assume God will impart upon them supernatural wisdom, power and insight where spiritual realities appear absent the influence of the practical experience of life. While God is certainly capable and willing to communicate with us through His Word, prayer and spiritual communion that’s not the model Jesus set up for growth.  With Jesus, growth happened in community and occurred as believers willingly submitted themselves to a spiritual parent or "veteran" who had walked the walked.  In the case of the first disciples Jesus was the ultimate teacher.

FIRST, KNOW WHAT YOU WANT...

You want to have a clear idea of your needs prior to entering into a discipleship relationship.  Your clarity on your needs (and they can change) will help you and your partner develop your goals.  What has God been saying to you in you r relationship to Him?  Is there a vision or ministry you want clarity with?  Do you want to know God better?  Are you interested in discovering or developing spiritual gifts, or spiritual disciplines? These are some simple questions that occur when someone takes the step to practice First century discipleship. 

MENTOR GUIDELINES...

We believe there are important guidelines for a discipleship relationship. As we are called to imitate Christ it's a good idea to find those who reflect Jesus.  Jesus knew the Word, Jesus loved people, and Jesus was committed to following his Father's will and he regularly sought it and experienced it through prayer.  Your partner should be someone who is in the Word and prayer daily.  God's word is His primary way of communicating with us and renewing our minds.  Why would anyone seek God's counsel from someone who has not developed the basic discipline of reading their Bible?  In a day an age when most pastors spend an average of 15 minutes in the Bible (most professing Christians even less) this is no small task! (Barna 2009). Choose someone who has an active prayer life meaning, like Jesus, they dedicate time alone for intimate communion with God as a practice.  We suggest finding someone who implements both prayer and fasting together. You should also consider asking a potential mentor about any ministries he or she has been involved in.

IS THERE A SPECIFIC FORMAT FOR DISCIPLESHIP?

Absolutely.  First, a disciple relationship is gender specific.  Some veterans are effective working with small groups.  My first mentor was a Navy Seal that worked intensely with five to six men for a year effectively.  Others are better at working one to one.  Regardless, any disciple worth following will be connected to and involved with a local church.  Disciple relationships should not involve isolation.  The study of God's Word together should be central to any discipleship relationship.  What materials you choose will be up to you and your partner.  Depending on your spiritual goals it's likely you and your partner will agree to some form of ministry participation.

 
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