MENTORS AND PROTÉGÉS
Our churches are in desperate need of mentors. (And so is our society, and our politicians, and our entertainers, and our corporates, and our..!). Amazingly the word ‘mentor’ is not in the Bible but there are powerful principles therein.
The Bible reveals that the true spirit of mentoring brings out men with caliber, and quality and ability that far superseded their own generation and established a new norm of lifestyle for the next.
Look at it.
Benchmarks were changed. Levels were brought up. Serious issues whether moral or spiritual were dealt with. Restoration occurred, and resistance to sin and degradation came about.
History is full of it.
Mentors and protégés both challenged their present and changed their future. There was Moses and Joshua, there was Elijah and Elisha, there was Naomi and Ruth, Deborah and Barak, Elizabeth and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and then there was Jesus and the Twelve, Paul and Timothy and Barnabas and so many others…! Full of God-inspired, heaven-filled pairs of relationships that helped each other to up the system of their day!
I am reminded of two people climbing up a steep mountain. Two climbers are tied together. The person on the other end of the lifeline is the most important person on the planet for the present. Mentors hold a lifeline for their protégés. And true protégés follow carefully and faithfully hand over foot.
Let me look at one.
When writing 2 Timothy, Paul was awaiting execution in a Roman dungeon. Despite the sense of abandonment that Paul faced. The loneliness – that his ministry was now soon coming to an end. The inner fear – which every man carries within himself no matter how ‘strong’ he seems to be that death, would probably come the next dawn. Paul directs and exhorts his spiritual son Timothy. In the midst of his own turmoil, Paul talks about hope, about boldness, about endurance, and faithfulness to endure the onslaught of false teaching and erroneous doctrine. That the precious Scriptures were ‘God breathed’. That the Scriptures were more than sufficient in all things that pertained to faith and practice of the true Christian. And then Paul also encouraged older and senior believers to eagerly pass on their experience and knowledge to the younger.
I am challenged.
In the last forty years of following the Lord, I have taken note of one thing strongly. Only those who ‘hang on’ to the rope they hold and see their mentors go on ahead, only those finally make it to the top. Protégés need willingness to learn quickly, to assess their skills, and evaluate their potentials for self-development. They must have personal vision and clear objectives within the mentoring relationships. In short…they need to ‘discover themselves’ anew. The power and freedom they have in Christ the ability to do, and finally the faculty to finish the task.
It is time to become either one of them! Seriously, where are you?