How do I mentor someone?
Have you felt the Lord’s conviction you that you should be investing in the life of a new(er) believer? Great! But, you might have questions about what a personal “spiritual mentoring” relationship looks like.
Let’s take a look at how the DTI Manual and the four components of “spiritual parenting” can help you fulfill the Great Commission.
The DTI materials are designed with the intent of raising questions and stimulating conversation which will lead to spiritual growth both in the mentor (discipler) and mentee (disciple). As you go through the material together there will be questions that will come up from the mentee related to what is being discussed and from the other side, the mentor needs to be constantly available to share personal experiences both positive and negative.
As a mentor shares personal experiences they are going to be modeling and sharing with the mentee, “this is how I handled this particular situation” or “when the Lord did this in my life this is how I reacted.” Maybe the outcome wasn't very good but it will be a learning experience for both the mentee and mentor. It’s helpful to discuss things that have happened spiritually and things that are happening in the life of the mentee.
And the Holy Spirit needs to be depended on to orchestrate all of this. Typically when you meet together, you as the mentor know where you're going to start which is probably where you ended up the last time you met. For example, you're going through Phase 1 and you know which lesson you ended last time and you’re prepared to begin there, but you have to be ready that any given moment the Holy Spirit may change the whole direction of the time together. Maybe a paragraph or concept you think would be easily understood by the mentee triggers a question in the mind of the mentee that leads to the whole session talking about one particular point. But if that's what the mentee needs to discuss then the mentor better be ready to let the Holy Spirit direct the conversation.
In our Balanced Discipleship discussion we list four components of personal discipleship. Let’s now turn our attention to these components since you as the mentor will use these in the mentoring process.
The first component is teaching God's word. As you go through the DTI Tool you’ll find that about 65% of the lessons are Scripture, along with the teaching “point” to discuss. God’s Word is a powerful instrument to use as we seek to grow in spiritual maturity, spiritual fruitfulness and spiritual reproduction.
The second component of personal discipleship is that of commitment. This has to do with the heart attitude of the mentor towards the spiritual welfare and development of the mentee. There is a commitment that goes beyond just presenting God's word.
It's the contrast between the secular model for teaching and the biblical model for teaching. Jesus said that a disciple is a student and every disciple is a student but not every student is a disciple. What's the difference?
The biblical idea of a disciple is more of an apprentice. At a university the student just wants to know what the teacher knows. In the biblical model the student wants to be like the teacher. This is a huge difference. In the secular model the student doesn't have to respect or have intimacy in any way with the teacher. In many situations the teacher could be immoral outside of the class because all that matters to the student is the information that they receive in the class. How the teacher lives their life is pretty much irrelevant.
But in the biblical model of discipling the idea of an apprentice is one where the mentee learns from the mentor but we want the mentee to emulate the mentor. Most of all we want the mentee to end up with the passion of the mentor. Typically the one that is being mentored will not have a greater passion than the one that is mentoring. Hopefully the passion of the mentor comes across.
The third component of personal discipleship is being a model for the disciple. A lot of times outside of using the Tool you will be modeling your everyday life in particular situations. If you’re mentoring someone you would expect to receive phone calls or questions from the mentee that doesn't have to do with the lessons you are going through in the manual. It would be more of “I've got a situation going on in my life.....”
In many ways being a model for the mentee cannot be taught. How do you teach patience? How do you teach faithfulness, or passion? Those things need to be seen more than heard and this is part of being a model.
The fourth component of personal discipleship is individual attention. We’re not interested in having you just go through the material in a mechanical way but you have to be available to the Holy Spirit lead that maybe on one particular point there is a “hang-up” for the mentee. Maybe it is something where the mentee is hurting or has some deep questions. As the mentor you should let the Holy Spirit change the pace and direction of the time spent together so the Holy Spirit can address those needs of the mentee.
As you experience the joy of mentoring a new believer, you will come to experience that all four components are dovetailed together as one unit.