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Mentor, is the first value for Servant Leaders and at the heart of what we do day in and day out. There are many definitions for mentorship, we define it as creating effective relationships that grow the follower of Christ in his knowledge, character and skills. In other words, applying what Paul said in Philippians 4:9, “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (ESV)

This definition implies an intentional discipleship with purposeful development. Discipleship is at the very heart of the great commission. Followers of Jesus are not called to make converts, but to make disciples. Therefore, every follower of Jesus needs to walk shoulder to shoulder with others to help them see the everyday implications and applications of the Gospel. Mentorship is patiently walking with an unwavering love that encourages them to delight more in the Gospel and walk further in its direction for our lives.

That direction, is where mentoring takes a step further. You mentor people by casting a vision for their lives for how they can realize their God given potential in the local church. We develop people when we graciously provide personal critiques to help them better apply the Gospel in their personal lives. Leaders are developed by helping them grow towards this gospel vision of their life through critiques and intentional learning. The developing leaders are exposed to training, instruction, and opportunities to grow their knowledge, character, and skill.

Mentoring with both discipleship and development in mind is fulfilled by the four key verbs in Philippians 4:9, “Learned, Received, Heard, Seen.” “Learned” implies being taught and explained the Bible and the Gospel. “Received” implies handing tasks over to be done, giving them opportunities to grow in skills. “Heard” implies speaking truth into lives and graciously critiquing when necessary. Lastly, “seen” implies opening up our lives for others to look in and see the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly of applying the Gospel in a sinners life.

If you hear that and think, “wow, that’s a lot of time, work, and could get messy,” than you are starting to get the idea. Mentorship takes time, time to develop the trust to ask thought-provoking questions, and then allow for silence to stir an answer. It is slow and steady in the direction of Jesus with the transforming power of the Gospel. It takes a willingness to give of yourself and, at times, to be uncomfortable. Remembering along the way, it is not about your own wisdom, but the work of the Holy Spirit through the prioritization of scripture in countless conversations.

By God’s grace, if you mentor with patient, one-on-one discipleship, your church will deepen
their gospel knowledge, application, and culture. By God’s grace, if you mentor by developing
disciples into leaders you will multiply and mobilize your local church into more local churches.

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