What is Mentoring?

by Dr. Waylon B. Moore

      “Mentoring is a relational experience through which one person empowers another by sharing God-given resources.” Mentoring and discipling are closely related, but not always the same. In the New Testament, a teacher, who called followers to disciplines involving his teachings and life, instigated discipling. Mentoring seems historically to be less about instruction than relationships — the protection and encouragement of another person, of the same or different sex, for his maturing. If instruction is included, with accountability, then it becomes “discipleship-mentoring.”

      Mentoring may be quite loose, unstructured, and may require little from the one mentored. The mentor must make the stronger commitment. In discipling, the commitment begins with the discipler, but must be picked up by the one discipled. “As iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). It seems as we face a new Century that the word mentoring may be more “user-friendly” than the term discipling.

      In the book Connecting, authors Stanley and Clinton define the term as I gave it above, then list some models of mentoring. They divide mentoring into two main groups of models:

1) Intensive: The Discipler, Spiritual Guide, or Coach. To this list I would also add “Parent.”

2) Occasional: The Counselor, Teacher, or Sponsor.

      God may also sharpen someone by using a passive mentor, whose model may inspire from a distance. Also, there are historical mentors, who imprint one's life through their biographies. At this website we'll be seeking to encourage you in this fabulous ministry to others. You will experience the joy of growing a ministry into others that stretches you both.

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