This post is a part of the Dancing Jesus: Mentoring in the Church blog series that will be ongoing through the month of September. You can read about the series and view the schedule here. You can subscribe to all of the posts here.
If I were to be completely honest, I would say that I am struggling to write this post for
- First of all, I don’t know if I am going to say anything that hasn’t already been said. Even within this blog series I am sure that others have come up with better thoughts and have said them in a more inspiring way.
- I think the second reason I am struggling to write this is because I can’t say that I have really ever had a mentor. How can a mentor-less person write about mentoring?
In being asked to write about mentoring I can only write from personal experience. It has not been until recently that I have begun to think of mentoring, or the lack thereof, as a problem. I don’t have a mentor at this moment, nor do I see one coming on the horizon. For myself (and I am sure many others), this is a problem and will continue to be one until the Church decides to get it right.
Let me say quickly that even though I love the Church, throughout my entire life I have watched it lag “behind the times” when it comes to any number of subjects. Think about the last 20 to 30 years when it comes to leadership, children’s ministry, music, young adults ministry, social media, and social justice issues in the Church. Now think about mentoring. Let me say that I think we are hurting badly in this area, and we have a lot of work to do.
The fact that we have been talking about mentoring for a month tells you that there is something that needs to be addressed. We all can go about pointing the finger at those above us for not “doing their jobs,” but I think we all know that is not going to bring a solution. So how do we go about addressing our mentor problem?
In order to begin to fix the Church’s mentoring problem I believe that we must get back to having Christ at the center of all we do. Where mentoring is lacking in the Church it is partly because Christ is secondary. Entertainment, creativity, and trendiness cannot create disciples of Christ. It is so easy to slip into the practice of running the ins and outs of a church and unintentionally neglect the long and arduous process of walking through life with individuals. I believe that if the Church was to refocus on Christ as central we would see an increase in mentoring, because Christ himself so closely mentored his disciples. Understanding what Christ has done on the cross should spur us to love Him and then to love our brothers, i.e., mentor those God has placed in our lives.
Ben Davis is a youth pastor in the inner city of Pittsburgh, PA. He blogs at
iambendavis.com and you can follow his Twitter account here. Ben has been married
to his wife Abbie for 6 years and is 27 years old.