The Need for Mentors
A few days ago I got an email from a young man named Dan who happened upon my book in, of all places, the local fire department. He had brought his son to “oh n’ awe” over the fire trucks – as many six-year-old boys love doing. As this young father chatted with the fireman on duty he noticed a copy of my book on the front desk (btw: thanks to the generous donors who made it possible to place my book into the hands of first-responders in my city and county). Dan inquired about my book and was given a copy to take home. That’s when I got the email from him.
Within a few days we were sitting face to face discussing my book and how it came to be. I provided him three more copies for his men’s small group. He told me he sees the need for older, life-experienced men to mentor younger, less experienced men. He is a man eager to learn how to become “the man God wants him to be.” He thanked me for writing Every Man Jack. He wants to be mentored in how to grow in his faith in Jesus Christ – so he can do the same for others, starting with his own son. Since then he has invited me to visit his book study group for one of their meetings. I have eagerly accepted the invitation. Let me tell you why.
When I think about mentoring, I’m drawn to 2 Timothy chapter 2. The apostle Paul begins that chapter by mentoring his young fellow disciple Timothy about the process of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. He wrote: “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things.” (2 Timothy 2:2–7 NLT; italics added)
Acting like a man and disciple of Jesus Christ and learning to be watchful and alert, faithful and strong, and loving always doesn’t come automatically. It takes all three levels of spiritual discipline mentioned in 2 Timothy 2:2-7 to be built into your life—outside in (like the soldier), inside out (like the athlete), and “in it for life” (like the farmer). The mentoring process is for men who want to begin a long obedience in the same direction as they let God work His life into theirs.
My prayer is that more and more men, like my friend Dan, will begin to grow in their understanding of the principles I’ve included in Every Man Jack. I encourage you to form a small group of other like-minded men and work through the book slowly and deliberately together. Let the Holy Spirit work His life into yours and then out of your life into the lives of other faithful men. “Teach these great truths to trustworthy men who will, in turn, pass them on to others” (2 Timothy 2:2 TLB).
King David penned two sentences that have become life defining for me in the second half of my life. They guide me daily as I still work diligently to be an example – a mentor – to others who want to become the men God wants them to be. I hope these words of truth will become as meaningful to you as they have to me, keeping you on the path to spiritual maturity and mentorship: “O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:17–18 – NASB).
Find a spiritual mentor and then become one yourself!
Read more about The Need for Mentors in my book Every Man Jack available on Amazon(www.amazon.com/Every-Man-Jack-Becoming-Wants/dp/1973680386) and Westbow Press (www.westbowpress.com), and wherever books are sold.