Mentoring Like The Master
We've looked through the Old Testament so far to find examples of mentor/apprentice relationships. In the Old Testament, we've found several great examples to help understand and utilize the mentor/apprentice relaionship going forward. Now we turn to the New Testament. What can we learn from this Testament about being a mentor and/or an apprentice? We start with the Master:
Christ rarely started a dialogue without first acting so as to set-up the lesson. At the Sermon on the Mount, he climbed the mountain before he said a word. This showed his followers the value of sacrifice for revelation. Christ didn't just use his actions to set up lessons, though. Often, he did it personally with those in need and sent them on their way afterwards. This showed his followers that their actions were not about receiving accolades. He showed them their actions were only to help others and propel the gospel. It is this mindset that would result in selfless acts throughouth the book of Acts and beyond.
Christ was a man of action, but he was also a man or words. There is rarely a scene depicted in the life of Christ where he does not say something profound or meaningful. He was prepared to speak his ministry at dinner tables, in synagogues, on plains and on fishing boats. What's more, Christ wasn't locked into one method of speaking. He knew that he had a diverse audience, even amongst the Jews. He spoke in parables, plain speach, scriptures and prayers. It showed his disciples that they had to be versatile in their approach while maintaing a consistent message. His disciples would perform this task admirably when they brought the message of Christ to multiple nations and various cultures.
Christ wasn't trying to do it all himself. He provided multiple opportunities for his disciples to get involved in his ministry. This included running errands, getting resources necessary for ministry, bringing people to Christ to be healed and actually going out and ministering while under the direct tutelage of Christ. He didn't let them go around and do their own thing, but Christ offered his disciple ample opportunities for his followers to succeed before they ever had to do so on their own. It was this training that gave them the boldness when the time came for them to stand on their own.
Tying them all together
As apprentices, we must pay close attention to what our mentors are doing. Their actions can be a testimony to us when we break out on our own. We must also be open to their teachings, but not affraid to ask for clarification when we don't understand. After all, when they are gone, it will be us teaching those messages. We better know what they are saying before we get to that point. Finally, when the opportunities arise to do something, we need to seize them, but not to be overzealous. The mentor will know when the opportunity is right for us.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.