Vol. 25, No. 3, November 2006

Instant Mentor

by Dr. Waylon B. Moore
What if you’re desperate to find that illusive mentor? Hungry men and women have shared with me the difficulty of finding someone who has both the time to invest and has a strong track record of living for Jesus over the years. Know what? You can find a great mentor this week. You’ll discover your new mentor’s record of believing God, experiencing Christ’s power in times of crisis, and his answers to prayer.
Our loving Father in Heaven has two sources available for you, both of which involve stories. Particularly in our culture, exchanging stories is a major way to reach peopleís hearts. The first source of “instant mentoring” is in the treasury of Bible characters. Over 2700 different people are recorded in the Bible. In a sentence or even chapters, God opens the layers of their lives, revealing the stark realities of their weaknesses, victories, tests and trials. We see truth and consequences. “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope” (Romans 15:4, NAS).
God in His love uses these multiple lives to warn us, and warm our hearts to follow Him. The Old Testament is saturated with insights from the lives of Abraham, Moses, David, and Elijah and their walk with Yahweh God. Studying these four giants will bring you better understanding of the New Testament. Moses reached out from the millions he led, to invest in others at Godís command. God exhorted him to take time to mentor a man, Joshua (Deut. 3:28). Moses also gave himself to Caleb. These two became leaders in Israel. Observe the careful mentoring of Naomi as she prepares Ruth for Godís will in marriage. Follow in I Samuel 1 & 2 the emotional history of childless Hanna; then her new baby of prayer, Samuel. Then watch a Kingís son, Jonathan. He peer-mentors the shepherd boy, David. Who better to introduce him to “big city” politics and protect him from the dangers of a jealous King? Read with amazement the determination of a young Elisha to get mentored by old prophet Elijah. Learn as you pick up hundreds of “Bible photos;” snapshots which have depth, revealing both the public appearance and Godís inside x-rays.
In the New Testament God sent His Son to be our supreme model to follow. For three years day and night, Jesus taught and modeled a life worth copying before the Twelve. Sermons werenít His major tool to shape men. “He ordained twelve that they should be with him . . .” (Mark 3:14). Jesus wanted them “with him,” to share His life. He then “sent them forth to preach,” after training them in ministry and imparting His vision. Life on life was Jesusí ultimate mentoring method. In Acts and in all the Church Letters, Scriptures reveal how churches grow. It begins with Peter, then Paul. Their mentoring life-experiences glued the New Testament together. Paul wrote multiple times commanding converts to, “Be ye followers of me.” Their Bible first had legs. Having a face-to-face mentor to copy and to ask questions from is biblical. But we also keep balanced spiritually by maintaining a daily focus on Jesus and the Scriptures.
Next, for instant mentoring, read the exciting, true biographies of dozens of men and women God used to change their world. I have in my library about 30 feet of biography. The books reveal stories about statesmen and business giants, inventors, media entertainers, explorers and missionaries. There are also books about unknown people who dared, in faith, to do things others were afraid to try.
For younger readers, buy a set of books by authors Dave & Neta Jackson. Begin with their first four volumes titled Hero Tales. Each book contains 15 biographies of real-life heroes told in the form of short stories, especially good for 8-13 year olds. Interesting questions are provided for discussion and each chapter concentrates on a specific character quality embodied by the person.

Trailblazers Series

The Jacksons have blended the life of a famous Christian missionary or leader with fictional people who are woven into that Trailblazerís life. Therefore, itís not a pure biography. The culture and customs of people living in that time frame make the stories a walk into history and geography. These fun titles made me smile in anticipation, so I ordered all 40 of them.¹ A few sample titles are:
A pastor friend, Brad, sent me a surprise birthday gift of six wonderful sets of Christian Heroes: Then and Now, by Janet and Geoff Benge.² Iím thoroughly enjoying the quality, quick-reading adventures of amazing men and women. These books for younger readers are colorful and shorter than adult-sized biographies.
The web site comments: “Readers of all ages love these fast-paced adventures that take them to the heart of a nation, an era, and what it means to live a life dedicated to serving God and those He loves.”³ One may also order a curriculum guide corresponding to each book, for use with homeschool kids or groups of all ages, complete with reproducible fact sheets and maps. Although you can get them in sets of six books, you may want to pick one or two to start. Iíve shown my Top Ten choices:
  1. Hudson Taylor: Deep in the Heart of China
  2. Jonathan Goforth: An Open Door in China
  3. C.T. Studd: No Retreat
  4. Corrie ten Boom: Keeper of the Angelsí Den
  5. Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime
  6. Lottie Moon: Giving Her All for China
  7. Brother Andrew: Godís Secret Agent
  8. William Carey: Obliged to Go
  9. George Mueller: The Guardian of Bristolís Orphans
  10. Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar

Devotionals and Other Books

Active in my life are some special books and articles that God used to teach and convict me. Among my “instant mentors” are devotional authors: Oswald Chambers, Andrew Murray, John Piper, and Henry Blackaby. To increase my delight in the Scriptures Iíve been encouraged by C.S. Lewis, Warren Wiersbe, Ray Stedman, Chuck Swindoll, John R. W. Stott, John MacArthur, and Arthur Pink (especially Hebrews, David, and Elijah). IĎve experienced great years of mentoring through hard-hitting articles by Fred Smith (see web site of Christianity Today or Leadership Magazine). Rich, stimulating biographies on American presidents have come out by David McCullough (John Adams is my favorite). In addition, two other writers of excellent biographies are John Pollock (on Hudson Taylor and Maria, Moody, etc.) and Irene Howat (10 Boys, and 10 Girls series).³

Commitment to Character Growth

Most importantly, in all this reading, our goal is personal change, not just information gathering. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring you into a new, growth relationship with the living Christ through applying what youíve learned. Generality dulls growth. The Spirit deals in specifics. As you read a biography, underline key sentences or star paragraphs that stand out. After reading each chapter, ask the Lord, “Is there something you want me to know, stop, change or start from this information?” (2 Timothy 3:16). Write any decision you have been led to make on the inside cover and date it. Pray about this application and share what God has taught you with someone else.

  1. To order, go online to the authorsí web site or go to the publishing web site.
  2. Youth with a Mission Publishing, 1999; Tel.: (425) 771-1153, (web site). Order from the WYAM web site.
  3. More Resources: To see a list of modern-day missionsí heroes, check out books & videos from this interesting web site of Wycliffe.

How To Do
  A Biographical Character Study

Begin with a less well-known person, with fewer Scriptures to look up, such as Hannah (1 Samuel 1, 2) or Barnabas; or Caleb, Asa, Titus, Sarah, Peter.
  1. Write down all Scripture references on the person, using a large concordance (most Bibles donít have all references in the back).
  2. Read through the verses 3-5 times slowly.
  3. List character qualities. Observe any positive qualities and actions and any negative ones. List them in columns.
  4. Ask questions and answer them, after prayer and meditation. ASK: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How? For example, What was his relationship with God or Christ? Why did he take that course of action? What are the consequences? Is there a sin, or an attitude to confess and avoid?
  5. Imagine yourself there. Use your senses. What do you hear, feel, smell, and see?
  6. Application: What lesson have you learned? What warning have you taken? What can you do now, in Christís strength, to get a positive quality into your life this week?

Family News

Martha just arrived from Germany and is on stateside assignment. She is here first to renew herself and Godís mission through her, but secondly to share the vision of missions at some conferences. She has just moved to Braunschweig, Germany with its large engineering university, to launch a new Connexxion campus ministry when she returns in April.

Clemmie and Waylon are experiencing the joy of leading a home fellowship Bible study at Pastor Bruce Mooreís Crosspointe Church in Wesley Chapel, FL. Heather, his wife, is wonderfully serving by his side. They both lead group Bible studies. Weíre growing.

Clemmie and I had a challenging time in September as I spoke in Zurich churches on “Bible Study Methods for Life Growth,” then Germany to teach mentoring to pastors. Because of a brief illness I had, Martha was asked to fill in for three days. In fluent German she taught Mentoring with PowerPoint. With Martha were six staff and students who shared some in the teaching load. The group modeled three generations of believers!

Your prayers have meant decisions for Christ, new commitments, and translations of our books and materials into other languages. We are praying for you. Your investment now would allow us to be financially current this year. Send us your prayer needs, please.

Wishing you a joyous CHRISTmas!

Give New CDs, DVDs & Books This Year!

Visit our Materials page and choose from our selection.

CDs & DVDs
(plus shipping)

  • “The Power of Mentoring” & “Winning Your Neighbors and Friends” 2 discs, $5


  • “Building Disciples Toolbook” 300 pages (PDF); requires Adobe Reader - $17


  • Midwestern Seminary Class “Lectures on Mentoring” MP3 format, 10 hours - $15


  • “Mentoring Workshop” Dr. Moore & Dr. Bill Steeger, others. CD MP3; 12 hours - $17


  • “Equipping Mentors for Character & Skills” 8 DVDís; 14 great hours for groups, or select leadership training to multiply. Includes workbook - $95

Books

  • “Living Godís WordS” Sizzling group study on applying Scripture; by Lifeway - $9
  • “Multiplying Disciples” - CD or book. Used in seminaries. Discover how Paul built men. - $11
  • “First Steps” - 110 pp. Includes 6 “entry level” beginner studies and NIV Gospel of John. Also the why of how to memorize Scripture, how to give a testimony, how to have a Quiet Time. Sold in boxes of 76 at $1.59 each ($133.44 with shipping of $12.60). Or, 5 for $9.00
  • “The Power of a Mentor” - 24 pages; Summary of mentoring - $2


Building Disciples
Toolbook Committee:
Rev. Larry Adkisson
Dr. Waylon Moore
Dr. Ralph Burrage



Waylon and German host Pastor Stefan Keil

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