A Simple Step To
by Dr. Waylon B. Moore
could be important to bring together the minds and money of Harvard
University, ABC (Disney), CBS (Viacom), Fox News Corp., NBC (GE), and several
divisions of AOL Time Warner? They have linked together behind a common goal:
to get the idea of mentoring into the mainstream of American life. These
companies declared January 2003 as National Mentors' Month. These non-religious
corporations are committed to encouraging mentoring of children and teens
across America. Have you seen that TV ad on mentoring a kid? The emphasis by
these corporations is that anyone can impact another's life through mentoring.
A fabulous idea!
Centuries ago God put in the Bible His desire that His followers mentor others.
Is this happening today in your life, your church? Mentoring is a brain
to pick, a shoulder to cry on, a push in the right direction. A mentor
could be a favorite uncle, a teacher, a coach, a peer-buddy, even a
chance friend God can use them all to touch our lives.
To give impact to the Mentor's Month ad campaign this team produced books and
web sites. For example, a female schoolteacher who taught English to him
mentored Tom Brokaw. A mentoring grandmother raised Latin singer Gloria
Estefan. My grandmother's words are alive today in my life and work.
A teacher mentored Young Walter Cronkite, attending San Jacinto High School in
Houston. Those positive experiences led Walter into journalism. He became over
time the most respected of all TV commentators. Senator John McCain mentions:
a former high school teacher of mine, William Ravenel, changed my life.
He gave me some moorings and a compass. He was a man of admirable qualities. He
used his classroom as not only a way to teach English, but also to teach values
and standards, and morals.
The tall General Colin Powell's father was short, a bit over 5 feet, but
masterful. Powell grew up in the Bronx, New York, where his dad, Luther, a
Jamaican immigrant, was the dominant figure in his life. My Dad never let
race or station affect his sense of self. James Earl Jones, the actor,
writes, Outside my family, my most influential role model was a high
school English teacher, Donald Crouch. He had retired to a farm near the small
town where I lived. When he discovered there was a need for good teachers
locally, he came to teach at my small agricultural high school. I was a
stutterer, and felt self-conscious. Professor Crouch knew that James Earl
wrote poetry and gradually made him quote it to the class. Again and again new
poems were quoted and James did it without stuttering. This had a
tremendous effect on me, and my confidence grew as I learned to express myself
comfortably out loud.
Mentoring is God's way to lift another toward their full potential.
Tim Russert, moderator of TV's popular
Meet The Press
was changed when a grade school teacher, Sister Lucille, asked an
over-energetic boy to begin writing and putting together a newspaper for the
school. Later in high school a Jesuit Priest, Father Sturm, challenged Tim to
discipline in his studies. Tim writes, With out the intervention and
support of these two I would not be the moderator of
Meet The Press.
Mike Wallace, co-anchor of 60 Minutes for 35 years, recalls his first mentor.
She was Biddy Mitchell, a grammar school teacher. She was the first to get Mike
interested in correct speaking and the use of words. Later a wealthy friend of
his uncle's, Arthur Goldsmith, kept at Mike, You're not realizing enough
of yourself. You want to be in the news, but you're not. You're doing things
just for money you're better than that. Slowly Mike paid attention
and his life was changed. Larry King names people in Miami who decades ago gave
him encouragement that jump-started his interviewing people on the radio.
Basketball great, Bill Russell, told of his mother's life, then his dad's
Oprah Winfrey's 4th grade school teacher was Mrs. Duncan. She helped me
to not be afraid of being smart. She encouraged me to read, and she often
stayed after school to work with me, helping me choose books and letting me
help her grade papers. Mentors are important. I don't think anybody makes it in
the world without some form of mentorship. Nobody makes it alone. Nobody has
made it alone.
Mentors of the Bible
This is an excellent emphasis. But where does the Church stand on this issue?
God put mentoring models in the Bible for us to learn from and copy, over 3,000
years ago. The Bible, we discover, is primarily biography. The Old Testament is
built through the lives of Abraham, Moses, David, and Elijah. Jesus, Peter, and
Paul had life-stories that glue the New Testament together. Paul writes a
command to believers, Be ye followers of me. To copy a person, to
use him or her as a model, is biblical, as long as this person is walking with
Christ. We still always keep one eye on Jesus.
Mentoring is God's way to lift another toward their full potential. In Genesis
we read about mentoring as Moses is counseled and encouraged by his
father-in-law, Jethro. Moses reaches out to mentor two leaders in Israel,
Joshua and Caleb. In other books we see Naomi mentoring Ruth. Watch a young
prophet in training, Elisha, running to keep up with Elijah, to learn. These
were parents or pacesetters to those who followed them.
Another form of mentoring is side-by-side mentoring. An example of this is seen
in Jonathan's peer-mentoring of David.
In the New Testament God sent His Son to be the supreme model of mentoring. Day
and night Jesus taught, encouraged, modeled and invested in the twelve. Jesus'
training wasn't dependent on sermons to shape his men.
He ordained twelve that they should be with him . . .
(Mark 3:14). He shared his life and ministry with them daily for three years.
The Purpose of Mentoring
Mentoring is relational, and must be deliberate. Dr. Robert Clinton in
suggests ways to categorize different kinds of mentors. There is the coach,
spiritual guide, and discipler who give intensive time to others. To that list
I've added parents. Then there are four occasional kinds of mentors: the
teacher, the sponsor, the counselor, and the historical mentor. This person,
who may have lived at another time, reaches our hearts through biography.
The Steps to Being A Mentor
How may I begin mentoring, some have asked? Do we start with a booklet or
formal teaching materials? Do I help people with their problems and needs? Yes,
and a few steps more. It's sticking with the person we help to encourage their
personal growth in Christ. Where we have a gift area or strength, we make it
available to those we mentor. Ultimately we want to help them into the basics
that change lives, also known as the Wheel: 1) Bible study, 2)
prayer, 3) the application of Scripture to daily life (obedience), and 4)
Will you be a mentor this month?
Below you'll find a simple 3-level
track. Choose one track, and begin praying for someone that you can listen to,
encourage, link up for ministry, and hopefully together move into Scripture
study with one of my Bible study
Track 1 Entry Level
Assign a chapter or step from my book
to do each week. Read the syllabus at the front of the book about the various
projects you will do. Check the mentorees on Scripture memory (after you've
shared some good reasons to memorize see my tips
on memorizing scripture) and all assignments. Set the pace. You'll meet
each week for 6-7 weeks, for an hour each meeting.
may be ordered from
From my book
Living God's Word
(chapter 3), teach HOW TO MEDITATE, so the verses they are memorizing can get
deeply into their lives.
Living God's Word
is available from
in Tampa, or LifeWay Bookstores, nationwide.
Next, teach them Synthetic Bible Study the repetitive reading of a book
of the Bible, all the way through at one sitting, daily for 30 days. Start by
assigning them Philippians to read daily for a month. Encourage them and
monitor closely so they don't miss a single day. After reading the book, in
different translations if they like, then help them begin to focus on a single
topic to find each time they read through Philippians. Ask the
protégés to record any findings. Here is a list of some topics I
enjoy looking for, one for each day I read the book.
Focus on verses about Jesus
About the Holy Spirit
Witnessing and Evangelism
Return of Christ
Fruit of the Spirit
Salvation and The Gospel
Best verse in each chapter
Best verse of the book
Key idea of the whole book
Submission to authority
Follow-up/nurture of new believers
A promise to claim
A command to obey
A sin to confess/forsake
Track 2 Medium Level
meet each week for an hour using this book. (six weeks)
Living God's Word:
Set up commitment responses from those you want to attend
and study daily from the text. You will need to check up on those
in the group to make sure they don't get behind. This requires about 15-20
minutes a day of personal study. Most of it is reading with varied
fill-in-the-blanks and analysis of the text.
Track 3 - More Advanced
Living God's Word
Do Chapter Analysis (STS) Inductive Bible Study. It is
on our web site
Then ask for a new commitment.
Remember, mentoring involves deepening relationships, not just study.
Inductive Bible Study with:
May I help you with these? Write me at
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Complete 1 Thessalonians a half chapter a week.
Then do Philippians.
Mix in Biographical and Word Studies.
1 An interview with Oprah Winfrey on WCVB-TV 5 News CityLine (Boston, January