Mentoring: Teaching people to fish for a lifetime

One of my favorite subjects to teach is mentoring. I can think of few programs more important to any church or Christian organization than this.

For me, teaching mentoring is like giving men and woman fishing poles to catch fish, not just once, but many times during their lifetimes.

What can possibly be more important in any church than learning how to be more effective and efficient fishers of men and women?

The impact that mentoring has on helping people grow in their relationship with Christ and adding souls to the kingdom of God is endless.

I remember some years ago doing a seminar for a mega church in the West on this particular subject. The host church invited women’s ministries directors from all over their city to take part in a two-day seminar in which they had invited me to teach.

At some point in the seminar, a woman from another church in the area came up to me and said she was in charge of her church’s mentoring program. She said there were about 100 women involved and that it was having a wondrously positive impact on their congregation.

Oh, how she wanted their program to be healthy and continue to grow. She was hoping to gain some additional tools that she could bring back and use to enrich and enhance their program.

There are several places in Scripture demonstrating mentoring. One example we can look at is the relationship of Moses and Joshua. We can see how Moses prepared Joshua to take his place when he no longer would be leading his people.

He and Joshua spent a lot of time together, and during this time, Moses poured himself into Joshua. God used Moses to prepare Joshua to eventually lead the Israelites into the promised land.

Another example of mentoring is that of Elizabeth and Mary, mother of Jesus. In the book of Luke, we learn that after being visited by an angel and told about her pregnancy, Mary went to see Elizabeth, her first cousin, and spent three months with her. These women were pregnant at the same time — Mary with Jesus and Elizabeth with John, who later would be referred to as John the Baptist.

We assume Elizabeth and Mary already had a relationship. Elizabeth was older and further along in her pregnancy and must have been a woman Mary knew she could trust who would pray for her and from whom she could receive Godly counsel. They also shared in their excitement.

In the book of Titus, older and younger men are told how to act, and older women are instructed to train the younger women. Again, mentoring is to take place although the word mentoring is not used.

When I was in my late 30s, God placed an older, Godly woman in my life. She took the time, a lot of time, to pour herself into me. I know it wasn’t always easy for her, but she stuck with me and I am the woman I am today because she did.

She gave freely of herself at a time when I desperately needed a Godly woman to do so and I will forever be grateful to and for her.

I, in turn, have had the privilege and honor of having the opportunity to pour myself into three women thus far in my years of being a Christ follower. One is now living in another country and the other two live in other areas in the state of Indiana. All three are making an impact on other women for the cause of Christ and the kingdom.

Just the thought of this is humbling for me beyond words.

Now, what about you? Who is it God wants you to have a mentoring relationship with? Who is it He wants you to impact with the love of Christ for all eternity and with his message of hope, love, mercy, forgiveness and grace?

I want to both encourage and challenge you, whether you are a male or a female Christ follower, to start praying about who it is God wants you to build His life into. The impact you make on this younger person will last for all eternity.

I, also, would like to encourage and challenge you to start a mentoring program in your church if it does not already have one. If you do this, just stand back and watch the amazing blessings God will pour out on your congregation because of your obedience to Him.

Columbus’ Nita Evans is owner of Confidential Christian Counseling, focusing her work especially with ministry leaders and their families. She also is a Columbus Police Department chaplain and a national retreat and conference speaker. She can be reached at 812-614-7838 or by visiting