Mentoring: How to Equip and Encourage Others
The Point: Someone helped you grow in Christ; do the same for someone else.
Get Into the Study
To introduce the topic of mentoring, invite your group members to list “survival tips” mentors should keep in mind. What should they remember to do? What should they avoid? Allow time for discussion. Then, share the seven reminders listed below. Use this discussion as a springboard into the Bible Meets Life and Question 1.
What do we need to know about mentoring? Here are 7 ways that we can invest in the future by mentoring a young adult:
- Recognize that there are many ways to be a mentor; one will fit your life.
- Make time for young adults that you know. Discover what they most enjoy, then spend time together doing those things.
- Be willing to take emotional risks. Millennials crave authenticity. Be honest and vulnerable as you share your life.
- Share your stories that illustrate spiritual truths and show how God has worked in your life.
- Make sure your life matches your words. Young people can detect hypocrisy. Practice what you preach.
- Help young people feel important. Encourage them to use their talents.
- Have a sense of humor to help people relax, to build trust and stronger bonds.
No matter what your mentoring style, show that God is the Source of all you and your mentee will need.
Toni Sanders provides technical support and training and is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She and her husband lead a senior adult Bible study group in Orlando, Florida.
Use the following story to wrap up your Bible study session.
The Democratic presidential debate season has begun. Candidates will answer questions and discuss various topics in the hope of gaining voter attention and approval. In a CBS news article, journalist Caitlin Conant interviewed Scott Mulhauser, Joe Biden’s deputy chief of staff during the 2012 election. According to Mulhauser, “Candidates have spent weeks and months prepping for these debates and the debates to come. From grabbing an hour or two with their staff or their briefing books on the road to full-scale mock debates, prep is in full swing for these candidates, yet it has to be squeezed in amidst campaigning, existing jobs and trying to manage family lives as well. So locking down as much as possible now is key in the hopes of as few surprises as possible during the debates themselves.”
The thought of mentoring can be intimidating. We may wonder if we are adequately prepared, if we can manage the time, or if we know the Bible. Like a candidate preparing for a debate, we may worry, “What if someone asks a question that I wasn’t expecting, or a situation arises that I hadn’t planned for?” But God has provided us all we need. We don’t need to be intimidated. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Just as Paul pointed Timothy back to Scripture, when you mentor, you can encourage someone else to grow in Christ by following God’s Word. As you look for opportunities to mentor, have confidence that God will equip you through the power of the Holy Spirit and His Word.
Nikki Wilbanks is a stay-at-home mom, writer, Bible study teacher, and commercial real estate appraiser/investor. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University. She lives with her husband and two children in Murfreesboro, TN.
- When has someone really made a positive impact in your life?
- When have you needed expert advice in order to meet a challenge or solve an issue?
- What are some things you find hard to learn without outside help?
2 Timothy 2:1-2
- When looking for mentoring relationships, how can we recognize God-given intersections
- What obstacles might discourage you from developing intentional mentoring relationships?
- What are some truths Paul might want Timothy to pass along to his church?
2 Timothy 3:10-13
- Why is it important to share both the ups and downs of life with those you mentor?
- How are you encouraged and challenged by Paul’s words to Timothy?
- What’s the connection between doctrine and practice in the mentoring process?
2 Timothy 3:14-17
- What factors should you consider when seeking a mentoring relationship, both for a mentor and a mentee?
- Why is the Bible an essential tool for discipleship and mentoring?
- When has the Bible equipped you to endure a difficult chapter of your story?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Here’s a brief video giving you an overview of this session: Special Focus Session on Mentoring
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
- HomeLife – Vetted: Nathan Sheridan