How To Mark Your Mentoree's Spiritual Progress
This is the final of my three-part post on intentional mentoring. This is in no way exhaustive, but I do hope it gives you some tools and thoughts in how to disciple another person.
When you're mentoring someone it can be difficult to know if they're growing or not, and if you're doing a good job. There's four main things I try to keep in mind to encourage in them. I try to encourage these things in whatever context I'm with them in: relaxation, Bible study, service, or ordinary life.
1. Understanding - This may be the most important. When I'm mentoring someone I need to make sure they're understanding the things of God. Do they really get what the Gospel is about and how it applies to them? Do they understand who God is? Do they understand what it looks like to live for Christ? Do they see what God is doing in this world, and how they're a piece in that puzzle? Do they have a clear understanding of the Bible? If the answer to any of these are no, I know what to focus on in our studies.
2. Action - Once someone understands the concepts of the Bible, it's vitally important to make sure they're living lives that reflect this understanding. Are they serving others? Are they kind in speech? Do they love other people? Do they genuinely care for how other people are doing? Do they hold lives of integrity based on their love for Jesus? Are they praying and reading their Bible on their own? Are they sharing their faith with others? Are they taking the things we're studying and trying to match their lives with it? What am I doing as a mentor to encourage them to live like Christ practically? Am I modeling this? If the answer to any of these is no, then I have something to talk to them about. I may even have to specifically show them what living like Christ looks like (like, "hey follow me, watch as I genuinely listen to what this person has to say before I answer them.")
3. Desire - I also want to make sure that this person is not just understanding the facts about God and applying them, but that it also reaches their heart. This is a real intangible one, and can be really difficult to know how to encourage. Some people just aren't emotional people, and that doesn't make them less spiritual. But do they have a deep desire and conviction to love God and please Him? Is my teaching and example stimulating this desire or choking it? When they are excited about something about God (even if you find it immature or incorrect) try to encourage their excitement. Zeal is a good thing, because you can then direct it at falling in love with Jesus and living committed to Him.
4. Following your example - I want to see that someone I'm mentoring is actually trying to follow my example. If they're not, I have to ask myself what kind of example I am leading. Can I really tell them like Paul did, "imitate me as I imitate Christ"? This can look like a lot of different things. One of the guys I was mentoring started to take on my teaching style, and it would have been really easy for me to poke fun at him for not being original or something. But instead I rejoiced that he looked up to me enough that he wanted to be like me. Mentoring is trying to bring someone closer to Jesus as you're trying to get closer to Jesus, so it's good if they're trying to be where you are.
I hope these things help stimulate some thought about discipleship for you. I'd love to hear any of your thoughts if you're willing to share them.
1 day ago