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A PAPER SUBMITTED TO DR. DANN AUSTIN OF THE LIBERTY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS CLED 510
BY PAUL J LIMATO 111
NORFOLK, VA FEBRUARY 2013
―Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me.‖ He reminds the new Christians at Thessalonica to ―follow our example‖ (2 Thessalonians 3:7).‖ Although ―mentoring‖ doesn‘t appear in the Bible. not only as a son-in-law but also as a leader (Exodus 18). In essence. Model. Scripture does give us numerous examples of mentoring. He said. or seen in me—put it into practice‖ (Philippians 4:9). he is saying. let him deny himself. The process of mentoring is characterized by mutual sharing.Introduction The word ―mentor‖ is defined as ―a wise and trusted counselor or teacher. Moses was engaged effectively in a mentoring relationship. trust. Christian mentoring is a process dependent upon submission to Christ. The mentor serves as a model and a trusted listener. Let me be your role model. change lives. These are all facets of mentoring. which are indispensable . The Apostle Paul spelled out mentoring as his leadership model very simply. ―Let me mentor you. ―If anyone will come after me. Because He is our leader and we are to follow Him. The mentor relies on the Holy Spirit to provide insight. and teach through the modeling process. Example. and both Barnabas and Paul excelled in mentoring (Acts 9–15). Jesus made His style of mentoring clear: He led so that we can follow. The mentoring relationship between Eli and Samuel prepared Samuel for the tasks and responsibilities that were his after Eli‘s death (1 Samuel 1–4). Neither the mentor nor the candidate controls the relationship. by his father-in-law Jethro. Teach. ―Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ‖ (1 Corinthians 11:1). and take up his cross and follow me‖ (Matthew 16:24-26). and enrichment as the life and work of both participants is changed. Jesus mentored His disciples (Luke 9).
the leaders must be intentional. While it may not be possible for shepherds to personally. Peter commands. ―Be examples to the flock‖ (1 Peter 5:3). they must be wholeheartedly committed to following Christ. In other words. intentionally. Of course. Pastor of Crosscurrent Church in Virginia Beach Jason Roberts is the founding pastor of Crosscurrent Church in Virginia Beach. if a Christian leader is not mentoring someone. hands-on mentor each sheep that needs mentoring. Any hint of hypocrisy—―do what I say. and Paul explains to the elders at Ephesus. not what I do‖—will be detrimental to both the mentor and his charge. continually expanding the circle of mentors by ―equipping others‖ to mentor. God has filled the body of Christ with many potential mentors besides those who are named as elders or shepherds. they are to help these needy sheep find godly mentors. Paul is telling the elders. to that degree he or she is not living up to his or her calling. He is a church planting coach within the Acts 29 Church .in developing fully devoted followers of Jesus and in transmitting the faith from one generation to the next. now you show them. Jason served a Young Life director as well as on staff at Spanish River Church in Florida prior to planting Crosscurrent. ―You know how I lived the whole time I was with you‖ (Acts 20:17). To provide for the mentoring needs of their local community of faith. It goes without saying that if mentors expect others to follow their example. ―I showed you. Compare and contrast Jason Roberts: Mentor. Not only Jesus and the apostles. The official church leaders cannot personally meet all the mentoring needs of everyone. but elders in the local church also do their work by mentoring.‖ In all truth.
Style: Jason Roberts‘ style of mentoring is more on the basis of relationships within the Acts 29 Network while Clint Clifton‘s style of mentoring is more on the basis of raising up church planters within his church.Planting Network. VA. Clint holds a B. . Clint Clifton: Mentor. Clint‘s process of mentoring is more formal in that he has an identified process for mentoring within his own church whereas Jason Roberts relies on a more relational approach. from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg. FL and an M. Clint served as a church planter and associate pastor at several churches in the Southeast before planting Pillar Church. and NAMB employee Clint Clifton is the founding pastor of Pillar Church. Va. He mentors church planters and assists them with becoming effective leaders and church planters.A.A. Clint oversees the church planting efforts of Pillar Church and serves as the director of ―Send DC‖. Both are very involved in the lives of those they are mentoring through regular and consistent conversation. from The Baptist College of Florida in Graceville. the North American Mission Board‘s effort to start new churches major in North American cities. and evaluation. accountability. Both of these men have influence in a broad sense through larger networks such as the North American Mission Board and the Acts 29 Church Planting Network. Pastor of Pillar Church in Dumfries.
Clint mentions. is Christian mentorship. Both men seemed to be driven by the spirit.‖ Discipling is the most likely candidate as an equivalent to ―Christian Mentoring‖ if it is properly understood as potentially holistic (training in knowledge. whom leads them to worship and work within their ministries. this is called discipling.Approach: Clint Clifton‘s approach to mentoring church planters is more of a process of discipleship. ―that everyone who knows Jesus should be involved in church planting.20) in essence. Theologically. rightly understood as a lifelong. holistic process of ‗teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you‘ (Matt 28. integrated and as a lifelong process. Both Jason and Clint use the positions that they have to follow the Spirits calling on their lives to see the gospel spread through the planting of churches through the men that they mentor. character and relating). Jason Roberts approach to mentoring church planters is more relational although it does have a aspect of discipleship. skills. I then begin "pouring" into the mentee the understanding gained over the years as a result of walking with the Lord through church planting. Neither of these men allow distance (miles) to create distance in their . Observation: One of the things that I noticed with both interviewers is that mentorship can be anywhere. Rather than the relationship being birthed more organically. Once that relationship has been birth. There is no question of the importance of church planting throughout the pages of Scripture. Discipleship. like Clint. doctrinal truths as well as "Life on Life" interaction and giving them opportunities to be involved in various aspects of church planting. This pouring into includes life experiences. Jason‘s are more from a network level.
It is your opportunity to walk with another person as God . Both Men use their influences in the larger networks to expand their mentoring opportunities. God brings about change: Mentoring is not your opportunity to implement your agenda in the life of another person. The idea of Christians being fellow travellers is not unknown in the mentoring context. The picture of the Christian life being a ―journey‖ or ―pathway‖ is an often used metaphor. They are both convinced the best way to engage in the Great Commission is planting churches and they are both doing that and influencing others through mentoring. Conclusion What Can Be Learned From the Interviews? Being a mentor/minister means practicing what you preach: Mentoring is not a way to meet your needs for significance. Your goal as a mentor should never be to shape your mentees into your image. but to encourage them to bear God‘s image more fully. is quoted so widely it has almost become clichéd. However. These men certainly practice what they preach. don‘t just talk the talk. The phrase. Jesus‘ earliest disciples were known as followers of ―The Way‖ (Acts 22:4) and the Apostle Paul encouraged the Corinthian church to ―imitate‖ his ―way of life in Christ‖ (1 Corinthians 4:14-16). Jason Roberts‘ mentoring relationships are more from the Acts 29 network while Clint Clifton‘s are from raising up men from within his own church. ―Walk the walk.‖ while good advice. The bottom line for both of these men is seeing more gospel-centered churches planted both here in the United States and around the world. but to walk with others as they grow and become like Christ.mentoring relationships.
Experience has shown that its rewards are greater than its costs! Reach out to others.17). a Christian mentor is a brain to pick. The challenge for those who have been on the Christian journey for a while is begin to share their life lessons with the next generation. 20. a heart to care and a life to watch. Just as the ―call‖ implied intention so the idea of ―following‖ implies association. Leaders take responsibility: Both the mentor and mentee should take responsibility to meet on time. Put simply. changing meeting times. 2:14). an ear to listen. including association in Jesus‘ ministry (v. in the opening chapters of Mark the disciples are called to ―follow‖ Jesus (1:17.shapes him into His image. . and commit to growth. From a biblical standpoint. their lives in mine in order to see me grow as a Christian and as a servant of Christ. and often the mentee may ―shadow‖ a mentor learning through observation. This early signal that being a disciple of Jesus would involve physical proximity and association is made explicit in the calling of twelve to ―be with him‖ (3:14). When the mentee observe how Christ has changed the mentor‘s life. one-on-one. the mentee can hopefully start to transition his/her own life. Ask your mentee to take responsibility for contacting you. I can think of many people who invested. be prepared. and setting goals for the relationship. and continue to invest. both saved and unsaved and share your life as a living example. Mentoring generally involves meeting face-to face. just as Christ did for each of us.
Appendices Interview Response: Jason Roberts Who initiated the mentoring relationship? Mentor or the Mentee? I am in the mentoring role. What is the most difficult aspect of the relationship? Skype has its challenges in that it is not in person. I am able select who I would like to mentor. Also. Also. When and where do you meet? Every two weeks. closure) The time is mostly conversational and is for accountability as a leader. Currently I am mentoring a couple of men that are planting churches in the United Kingdom. but it is also amazing in that you can mentor and be mentored literally from the other side of the world. Most significant result of the relationship? Seeing the life and influence of the church planter change in a way that he wants to be involved in church planting and seeing their leadership grow. It can be challenging to mentor guys in a different cultural context. accountability confidentiality. Acts 29 West is beginning to be established and so I am able to assist this new church planting movement by mentoring a couple of men that are planting churches. . seeing the changes of his actions and attitudes towards leading his family and his own life as a leader. Through the Acts 29 network. Once a year the time is spent in evaluation of church planting and how the ministry is going and how effective it is. As a coach within the Acts 29 network. Anytime you can see the gospel work expanded through the planting of churches all the challenges are worth it. via skype and two times per year in person How is the time spent? (format. I have the privilege of coaching church planters. evaluation.
evaluation. so there must be a conscious focus on the quality of time spent. and certain things are implemented to avoid walking into compromising situations as well as accountability in leading their families well in ministry. and the unexpected things in life seek to hinder the quantity of time spent. mentor initiates the relationship in accordance with the command of the "Great Commission" given by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20. Most significant result of the relationship? Seeing churches plant churches. family. I then began "pouring" into the mentee the understanding gained over the years as a result of walking with the Lord. The mentee will be informed prior to the additional involvement of another. When and where do you meet? We meet once per month with all of our Pillar Church Planters. Once that relationship has been birth. I meet with the church meet once per month in person and once per month via skype. Accountability is very important. doctrinal truths as well as "Life on Life" interaction.Interview Response: Clint Clifton Who initiated the mentoring relationship? Mentor or the Mentee? I. I believe that the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is a call to start new churches. Theologically. How is the time spent? (format. For that reason. This pouring into includes life experiences. accountability confidentiality. closure) The time is spent in leadership training which includes a specific topic each month. We discuss the struggles that may be present in their life. a tremendous amount of our efforts and resources go into the establishment of new churches and the training up of pastors and church planters. ministry. this is called "Discipling". Most difficult aspect of the relationship? One difficulty is‖ Time‖ The responsibility of Work. It is totally confidential as long as the Mentor does not feel that further assistance is not needed to minister to the need of the mentee. . The majority of our church planters come from our congregation but we also offer a training program to help prepare qualified men for the Gospel ministry. Evaluation of the planters happens annually.
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