During His ministry, Jesus modeled His life the way He wanted us to live. He taught people at every opportunity in both practical and spiritual ways. He never gave up on His mission—even after His team failed and ran away. He taught His disciples with Scripture and prayer and required them to do the same with the people they met.
These are Biblical examples of leadership, and they are also the elements of mentoring. Mentoring is the most important aspect of excellent leadership—it transforms others, and it transforms you. This post details why a leader should prayerfully help develop others into people who will lead.
“Mentoring Like Jesus” by Regi Campbell
I’m going to give it everything I have to show you what mentoring really is. And more importantly, the approach I’ve stumbled into happens to be the approach Jesus used as he mentored his disciples. Think about what Jesus did.
He was purposeful. It’s all about the Father and Kingdom building. Jesus was on a mission and mentoring was the key strategy to fulfill His mission.
He was selfless. Jesus mentored out of obedience to the Father. He got nothing out of it personally. He simply responded to God’s call on His life and did what the Father led Him to do.
He started in a group context, not one on one. Jesus knew the value of interaction of group members with each other. The group became a community, inextricable from each other.
Jesus also accepted and even promoted the “group within the group” which invariably develops. He had favorites, and He didn’t hide it or apologize for it. Yes, there was powerful one-on-one interaction. But it started in the context of the group.
Jesus hand-picked His mentees after prayer. The group was made up of lay people, not “church people”… diverse… anything but a holy huddle.
Jesus mentored for a short, intensive period of time. Jesus’ mentoring program began and ended. It was not a lifetime engagement. There was a clear graduation day when His mentees were commissioned and launched.
Scripture was at the core. Jesus and His mentees knew the Scriptures by heart. The Word guided their decision making. Jesus helped His guys understand and apply God’s word.
Prayer was huge; public and private. Jesus modeled a prayerful life; He taught the disciples how to pray, prayed with them and for them.
Jesus modeled his faith in a transparent way. Jesus lived out His life in front of His mentees. They became like family to Him. They saw how He applied His faith, how He struggled, how He handled stress, and how He handled dying.
Jesus taught along the way of life. He was practical, yet spiritual. Jesus helped His guys with practical situations….everything from taxes to work place issues; from goal setting to family relations. He was far more practical than hypothetical. They discussed the Law for sure, but Jesus taught from His knowledge and experience.
There was a mutual commitment. Jesus never gave up on them, even when they failed and ran away. Ultimately, they never gave up on Jesus, giving their lives, not for His memory or His teachings, but for His Kingdom.
Jesus required multiplication. His was a “pay it forward” model that changed the world. It produced evangelists and disciple makers. Multiplication was a part of what everyone signed up for from the beginning. No one was excluded from the task of investing in others as Jesus had invested in them.
These are the elements of mentoring… mentoring like Jesus did it… radical mentoring!
If you do what Jesus did, you’ll replace your occasional, sporadic, but well-intentioned efforts with a confident, intentional, and fruitful approach that will transform lives. In fact, it just might transform yours in the process.
Jesus, You mentored the disciples so they could lead the early church. Show me who to mentor and how to help them be a leader who glorifies You.
Who am I choosing to mentor and why?
Be intentional about who you mentor because you are cultivating their skills and affecting their future.
Your leadership skills affect not only you, but also your team and the outcomes of your projects. While a good leader may make leadership look easy, you can probably see that it takes deliberate action to effectively lead and develop the people on your teams. Jesus is the best example of a leader who is compassionate and selfless while being strong and tough. He communicated well, met the needs of the people around Him, and challenged His followers to be better people. If you prayerfully model Jesus’ leadership—the leadership that created the Christian church in just three years of ministry—you will be able to build growing teams that respect you, work hard for you, and can influence the world for Jesus.
The content for this post was adapted from: “Mentoring Like Jesus” by Regi Campbell
[ Content is from a YouVersion devotional on leadership ]