In the limited time that Jesus was on earth, He chose his disciples, trained and mentored those disciples, instructed them to go out and make more disciples, who would, in turn, go out and make more disciples to the ends of the earth. (Matt 28:18-20)
Jesus made intentional decisions in the structure of His discipleship ministry:
- In Jesus’ life, discipleship did not happen by chance, he prayerfully considered who they would be and invited them into the discipleship process “come and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt 4:19). He did not choose perfect examples of people but worked with fishermen, tax collectors, etc. who showed teachable and available hearts. Jesus specifically chose to hang around certain people.
- Jesus’ relationships reflect a series of circles, ever-widening circles of influence. Ours should too. There were the three, the twelve, the 72, the multitudes. Do a personal exercise in which you put your friends and acquaintances into the circles of your life. You in the center, with those closest to you in the next circle, continuing to the outside. Have you made intentional decisions about the relationships closest to you and the people you have in your life, or is everyone in your inner circle, or perhaps your outer circle. Or perhaps, there is no-one in your circle.
- The closer the relationship was to Jesus, the more time he spent in those relationships and the more active mentoring he did with them. It is very clear from scripture that Peter, James, and John were focussed on more than the other disciples, but this focus developed over time as Jesus developed their character.
- Jesus set the example for focused time. Luke 10:38-42 Jesus would spend time just teaching the twelve disciples away from the multitudes of people. As they walked the distances, he must have spent one-on-one time with individuals, checking their progress and understanding, building into their lives.
- Jesus set the example for moments in time. Matt 9:20-22 “As you go” ministry. Jesus also taught those closest to him while teaching others, working and ministering together. He would often give “lesson 2” to the disciples after a full day, where they could ask questions and get clarification.
- Jesus’ main focus was to die on the cross to make provision for man’s sin. Jesus never lost focus on his purpose on earth and continually came back to this. We too, need to clarify our purpose and intentionally choose to live it out in our lives.
- He also wanted to transmit the reality of God to his disciples in such a way that the Truth would still be alive and growing in their hearts until the second coming. Our goal is to do the same. In transferring our understanding of truth and a life that glorifies God, any person we mentor needs to have the same ability to do this for themselves once our season of time together has expired.
Think about it:
- Can you identify the circles of influence you have in your life, where you are influencing people’s lives as opposed to just being acquaintances?
- Are you spending the right amount of time with the right people that support the goals and focus of your life? Mentorship happens in relationships. Are you building relationships with the right people?
- Could you be more intentional about spending time with certain people?
- Do you think there is room in your relationships right now for intentional relationships that support the goal of mentoring men/women? If not, how can you start to create space in your relationships for being able to mentor?
“Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:5-6