Where Has All The Mentoring Gone?
by Julia Bettencourt
The subject of mentoring is one of those things we hear so much about revolving around church leadership lately. The Christian bookstores are full of new mentoring books. I’m actually not too keen on the word, “mentoring”. I think it conjures up a roadblock in some people like it’s something new or not meant for them.
If you ask someone to mentor another, they may refuse, but if you ask them if they would take that person under their wing, take an interest in them, teach, and help them, there could be a different response. Mentoring is not a new concept. “Mentoring” is just a label that man has put on a biblical principle that was set down long ago. It is a concept that we as Christian women are instructed to lead our lives by. The actual word “mentor” means “tutor” or to give instruction or guidance to another. The passages in Titus 2 and 3 give us some real insight into this concept as it relates to Christian women.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed (Titus 2:3-5).
Older women are to teach the younger. That includes all of us, because there is always going to be someone younger than we are. Sure, some of us are better at certain things and have different qualities, skills, and knowledge. It’s just like any other thing in the body of Christ. As Christians, we all have a place and a role to fill.
Aren’t you glad God gives us simple commands that we don’t have to go out and read a book or take a course on to be able to do the task? Mentoring other women involves the knowledge and skills that we have already obtained, are working to obtain, and have right at our fingertips, along with living a holy life.
It says in Titus 2:4,5:
Teach the Young Women
-To be sober
-To love their husbands
-To love their children
-To be discreet
-To be chaste
-To be keepers at home
-To be good
-To be obedient to their own husbands
When you go through the various things that ar mentioned above that are involved in teaching other women, notice nothing is overlooked. All areas of our lives as women are covered in Titus 2:4,5. Our thought processes, relationships, finances, and all aspects of home life, plus many other topics can be lined up under these verses. This is why Women’s Ministry is so important. I used to think it was important mainly because of the fellowship among other Christian women, and that is important. However, when we read and reread these verses, the vision of a Women’s Ministry in our local churches becomes so much more. These verses should open our vision to do the will of God in all of these areas and be involved in teaching other women.
So how do we do what Titus 2 exhorts us to do? It tells us in verse 12 that Christ already taught us how.
“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” Titus 2:12.
Living holy lives is the best way to live and when we are living that way, mentoring just falls into place. It’s then that our lives are at their best and we are able to teach others in a godly way. When we are “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”, we will desire to be busy about His business and the things that He left for us to do such as the admonishment to teach other women as in Titus 2:4,5.
God doesn’t give us any room for excuses when it comes to mentoring. He doesn’t say, if we are good at something, we have to mentor, or if we have a special skill. The Bible doesn’t even say when you get a certificate that you’ve been trained to mentor that then you can mentor. The Bible just says to do it and God expects us to do so. We are to bezealous of good works.
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort,
and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. (Titus 2:14)
We are left here as witnesses for Christ. When it comes to the things that we are left on this earth to do revolving around how we relate and teach other women it is an awesome responsibility. The thought of mentoring doesn’t stop there in chapter two of Titus, but if you’ll notice, it continues on down into chapter three.
Verse one of chapter three says, “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers”. The thought from the previous chapter continues on. Not only are we exhorted to teach others but we are given some practical ways in which to do it. There are so many things to glean on down into chapter three of Titus that can be a great help and understanding to mentoring. Just look at all the practical things to mentor with.
* Teach them to obey the law.
Subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates. Titus 3:1
* Teach them to be responsible in serving.
To be ready to every good work. Titus 3:1
* Teach them to watch their tongue concerning others.
To speak evil of no man. Titus 3:2
* Teach them not to fight.
To be no brawlers. Titus 3:2
* Teach them are art of gentleness and the how to be meek.
Gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. Titus 3:2
I’m not sure “where all the mentoring has gone”. For it to be something that we hear about so much in the Christian world, I’m afraid I don’t actually see it in action much. Maybe that has to do with our lifestyles these days. We live in such a busy and fast paced society that our outreach to others has suffered. We want to keep to ourselves more. We work hard and have so many things filling up our lives that we sometimes don’t want to take on more responsibilities. But it all goes back to that love that Christ left us here to show. How can we do it if we don’t get involved in the lives of others?
I think that mentoring starts within ones self first, because we have to take a look at our own lives, and really work on our relationship with Christ and improving our own lives in order to be able to teach others. I’ve seen lists of qualities of what makes a good mentor and all kinds of articles on how to be a mentor, but I think that Titus 2:3 and 2:12 is the whole crux of the matter. Our lives have to be in order first. It doesn’t matter where we are from, what kind of personality we have, what type of education we have, because if we are a Christian, this is something we are commanded to do.
It all boils down to living holy lives in order to teach and have a godly impact on others. A daily relationship of prayer and bible reading, keeping your heart in tune with Christ, living as Christ intended us to do with love and compassion will go a long way to prepare us for this awesome task of “mentoring” others. It’s just like anything else that God commands us to do; we have to be living for Christ and not the world in order to do it.
From: www.juliabettencourt.com web site. June 2013.
The above article, “Where Has All the Mentoring Gone?” was written by Julia Brettencourt. The article was excerpted from www.juliabettencourt.com. The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other author or name. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.