2 Tim. 2:1-2; 3:10-17
Anthony L. Wilson, lead servant
Church 180, Locust Grove
Mentoring is nothing new. Businesses benefit when someone with experience walks alongside and trains someone with less experience. Some industries refer to masters and apprentices. But mentoring goes back to the earliest day of the church. It’s called discipleship: one believer walks alongside another to help him or her grow in Christ. We all need mentors, and we all have the opportunity and privilege to help someone else grow. God can use us to help others grow in Christ.
Mentoring requires an intentional relationship
2 Tim. 2:1-2
While the definition of a mentor is “an experienced and trusted advisor,” it is traditionally seen that a mentee seeks out the mentor. This was not the case with Paul and Timothy. As one examines their relationship, you see Paul’s approach of selecting, tooling, training, and providing support to a young Timothy. In addition, the progression of this mentorship provides from a New Testament angle, how one should be “brought up” as a minister of the Gospel.
Paul puts it all in perspective by stating that Timothy is his “spiritual” son in the Kingdom. As such, Paul places intentionality behind communicating and employing Timothy to pass on what he has learned from Paul to others effectively and successfully, for the word says, “commit to these to faithful men who will be able to teach others.” There is implication that mentoring has a stewardship component and true stewardship must be intentional.
Mentoring involves walking together in life’s ups and downs
2 Tim. 3:10-13
As Paul followed Christ, Timothy followed Paul, and Paul exhorts, educates, and empowers Timothy to holdfast because of what was coming his way as a minister of the Gospel. Paul concluded that Timothy would face many false teachers and persecutions because of standing on the truth of God’s Word. So Paul opens up verse 10 by saying, “you have carefully followed my doctrine, life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, and afflictions” to share with Timothy that what happened to Paul did not destroy him but developed him to carry out his ministry. Verse 11 says, “out of them all the Lord delivered me.”
Therefore, the remaining time Paul had with Timothy was to allow him see some of this unfold and to see that a mentor should always be near to help his mentee get through the inevitable problems that come with carrying the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mentoring encourages us to stay grounded in God’s Word
2 Tim. 3:14-17
Paul led Timothy to Christ and gave him ministry opportunities. Paul taught him by example and ordained him, while mentoring Timothy in the midst of his ministry. The most critical part of Paul’s mentoring Timothy was centered around the Word of God. Paul spends ample time going over the importance of Timothy being grounded in the scriptures. Paul never suggested this as an option, but rather made it the only option if Timothy was going to be effective as a minister of the Gospel.
Importantly, there are two overarching themes in these closing verses of chapter 3 that stand out as to the reason Paul was mentoring Timothy in this area. Paul shares with Timothy that the Word would provide wisdom and would provide him a weapon against Satan and his agents. Paul was certain that people would change, perspectives would change but the Word of God would never change. Paul advises Timothy by commanding him to stick and stay with the God breathed, God inspired Word.
Live it Out
Take a moment and allow this lesson to live in your life by considering;
Whether one is directly mentored one on one or indirectly mentored through books, lectures, or video blogs, it is one of the key factors of passing on knowledge. Once that knowledge is applied, wisdom is the result.
The Word of God shows so many examples of mentoring from start to finish. Jesus was very intentional about who He chose to mentor. He also gave us the assurance that whatever the mentee faced, He would provide through the Spirit, the encouragement to not only standfast in their calling but stand firm on the Word while doing so. Paul picks up the same mentoring mantle with Timothy and shares with him that he was to be a good steward by mentoring others in the same fashion.