Discipleship & Mentoring: Definitions, Experiences and Resources

Hello, everyone! I hope everyone has had a wonderful start to the month of February. It has been exceptionally warm, but I am not complaining. I am very excited to dig deeper into this topic of mentoring and to hear from our first guest-writer Karina later this month.

As part of my degree program, we frequently get the opportunity to dive into different topics related to teaching as well as taking time throughout our studies to analyze our own personal testimonies both in word and action. Most recently, our studies have focused on discipleship and mentoring in the Christian faith.

Before we jump into the significance of mentoring, it is valuable to take a moment and differentiate between discipleship and mentoring. Discipleship, or disciple-making, is very simply defined as the process of teaching others how to be a disciple of Christ. The act of discipleship is not restricted to one specific area. Personal one-on-one discipleship, a classroom setting, study resources, and learning through sermon teachings are all examples of discipleship. Discipling others is both the conscious act of pouring into someone’s life through teaching, as well as demonstration of the characteristics and heart of a disciple through your everyday life.

Titus 2, which we have been studying this month, reminds us of the importance of our own behavior and how we should teach others. ” Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” This passage shows a beautiful picture of older women taking younger women under their wing and teaching them personally how to live a God-honoring life. 

On the more relational side of the spectrum, such as displayed in Titus 2, you find mentorship. Naturally, this type of relationship is attractive to women because of the depth and vulnerability involved. And let’s be honest, most of us just love to talk. Instead of comparing mentoring to discipleship I would like to define mentorship as more of an umbrella relationship under which discipleship is a natural byproduct of a Christian relationship. The relationship between mentor and mentee has the potential to be very personal. This relationship is often defined a very open and honest. The mentors who have poured into my life have known so much about me and my walk with the Lord because we built that trust. In response to this relationship, I was

The mentors who have poured into my life have known so much about me and my walk with the Lord because we built that trust. In response to this relationship, I was discipled by those women who spoke wisdom into my life and directed me towards the Lord. In this way, discipleship fits naturally under the relationship of mentorship as a mentor disciples the mentee. Additionally, discipleship can be done independently of an in-depth relationship through a discipleship class or sermon series.

as well as independently as in a discipleship class or sermon series. While the act of discipleship and mentorship consist of varying levels of personal interaction, both embrace the essence of Titus 2, living in accordance with the Law and teaching other women what is good.

In my own personal walk with the Lord, mentors have played a huge role. From the influence of small group leaders at church, camp counselors throughout the summer, and mentors throughout years in high school and college, God has placed so many wise people in my life to speak Truth and provide guidance. The words recorded in Titus chapter 2 have been very influential in my decision to start to seek out mentees of my own and to pass on what others have taught me. Something I have to constantly remind myself of is that it is not about what I have to offer to others, it is a matter of how willing I am to let God work through me.

Below are two additional resources on the topic of discipleship for deeper study. Both resources use the life of Jesus Christ and His ministry as a template for discipleship. Each book dives into the characteristics of a disciple as well as the heart and ministry of a disciple maker.
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