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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND CONTRIBUTING RESOURCES
Editor: Alison Bowling
Mentors and Mentoring
by Teresa Seputis
Jesus as the "Great Mentor"
One time I sat down and read the gospels to explicitly look at the
disciple's relationship with Jesus. I found 14 traits as I looked at
the mentoring interaction between Jesus and His disciples. I believe
that Jesus was serving as a role model of a good mentor. We should
look for these traits in modern mentoring relationships as well.
Here are the 14 traits from the disciple's perspective:
- They sat under his teaching in public meetings.
- Sometimes Jesus would initiate private teaching just for them.
- They had private access to Jesus to ask questions.. they initiated
a lot of questions.
- They fellowshipped with Jesus.
- They worshipped God with Jesus, such as observing the Passover
and singing a hymn together.
- They did not always understand what He was trying to teach them.
- They were sometimes corrected or rebuked.
- They sometimes let their mentor down, but their mentor did
not disqualify them.
- They were sometimes praised or encouraged.
- They were given opportunities to be "raised up" .. being
allowed to do real ministry receiving an impartation of
- They ministered with Jesus and He debriefed with them
- There was a friendship there.
- They had great respect for Jesus and a deep loyalty and commitment
to Him. But there were also times they were intimidated by
- They could count on Jesus to protect them from criticism and
to support them.
Now that we have the list, let's look at a few scripture examples for
each item on it.
- They sat under his teaching in public meetings. In other words, when
Jesus held public meetings, His disciples were there, listening to His
teaching and being instructed along with everyone else. Here are a
- 1 Then He went out from there and came to His own
country, and His disciples followed Him. 2 And when the
Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue.
- 15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi's house, that
many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus
and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed
Him. 16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him
eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His
disciples, "How is it that He eats and drinks with tax
collectors and sinners?"
17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are
well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I
did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to
- 11 And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So
when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was
already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve.
- Sometimes Jesus would initiate private teaching just for them. The
disciples had more access to Jesus than the average person. Jesus
went out of His way to teach them more than just what He taught
publicly. He was committed to helping them learn and grow spiritually.
- 31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must
suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief
priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise
again. 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him
aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned
around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter,
saying, "Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of
the things of God, but the things of men."
- 41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the
people put money into the treasury. And many who were
rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw
in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His
disciples to Himself and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to
you that this poor widow has put in more than all those
who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of
their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that
she had, her whole livelihood."
- They had private access to Jesus to ask questions, and they initiated
a lot of questions. The disciples were a bit proactive in their
relationship with Jesus. They valued His insights and experience.
They had a level of access to Jesus that others did not have. They
could approach Jesus and interact privately with Him.
- 1 And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great
multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat
and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the
land facing the sea. 2 Then He taught them many things by
parables, and said to them in His teaching:
3 "Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.
10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the
twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to
them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the
kingdom of God;
- 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power
had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said,
"Who touched My clothes?"
31 But His disciples said to Him, "You see the multitude
thronging You, and You say, "Who touched Me?"'
- 14 When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He
to them, "Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15 There is
nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile
him; but the things which come out of him, those are the
things that defile a man. 16 If anyone has ears to hear, let
17 When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His
disciples asked Him concerning the parable.
- 10 And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You
speak to them in parables?"
11 He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given
to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but
to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him
more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever
does not have, even what he has will be taken away from
him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing
they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they
16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for
they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets
and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not
see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
- 36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the
house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, "Explain to us
the parable of the tares of the field."
- They fellowshipped with Jesus. They hung out with Him in non-religious
and non-church settings.
- 29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue,
they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James
and John. 30 But Simon's wife's mother lay sick with a fever,
and they told Him about her at once. 31 So He came and
took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the
fever left her. And she served them.
- 30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all
things, both what they had done and what they had taught.
31 And He said to them, "Come aside by yourselves to a
deserted place and rest a while." For there were many
coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.
32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by
33 But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew
Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived
before them and came together to Him. 34 And Jesus, when
He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with
compassion for them..
- They worshipped God with Jesus (observed Passover and sang Psalms).
Mentor and mentee should be involved in worship activities together.
- 27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to
them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My
blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the
remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of
fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it
new with you in My Father's kingdom."
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the
Mount of Olives.
- The disciples did not always understand what Jesus was trying to teach
them. No matter how good of a teacher a mentor is, there will be times
when their mentee simply does not understand. This happens and both
sides need to make allowances for this.
- 13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again,
departed to the other side. 14 Now the disciples had
forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than
one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then He charged them,
saying, "Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod."
16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is
because we have no bread."
17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, "Why do you
reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet
perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened?
18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you
not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the
five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of
fragments did you take up?" They said to Him, "Twelve."
20 "Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand,
how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?"
And they said, "Seven."
21 So He said to them, "How is it you do not understand?"
- 12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know
that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this
13 But He answered and said, "Every plant which My
heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them
alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind
leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."
15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, "Explain this parable
16 So Jesus said, "Are you also still without understanding?
- The disciples were sometimes corrected or rebuked. Mostly the mentor
will be there to encourage and teach. But there will be times when the
mentor will have to bring some correction to the person they are working
with. The correction does not terminate the relationship, it merely
addresses (and hopefully resolves) a problem area in it or a fixes
a misunderstanding on the part of the mentee.
- 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into
the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the
stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to
Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?"
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the
sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a
great calm. 40 But He said to them, "Why are you so
fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" 41 And they
feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this
be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!"
- 13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might
touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought
them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased
and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me, and
do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the
kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."
16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on
them, and blessed them.
- They sometimes let Jesus down, but He did not disqualify them. There
will be times when a mentee disappoints their mentor or lets them down.
This is not the goal of the relationship, but it is bound to happen.
- 37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to
Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one
hour? 38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same
words. 40 And when He returned, He found them asleep
again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know
what to answer Him.
- Jesus sometimes praised or encouraged His disciples. A mentor needs
to give positive feedback and to encourage the ones they are training.
A mentor needs to positively reinforce it when the mentee learns and
correctly processes a key truth.
- 13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi,
He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the
Son of Man, am?"
14 So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and
others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the
Son of the living God."
17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon
Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you,
but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that
you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and
the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will
give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever
you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you
loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
- The disciples were given opportunities to be "raised up" .. being
allowed to do real ministry receiving an impartation of anointing.
A mentor must allow some hands on training. There are times when
the mentor must not over supervise so that the mentee can practice
what they have been learning. The mentor should begin to try and
involve the mentee in some aspects of their ministry. Also, there
should be an impartation of anointing from the mentor to the person
they are mentoring:
- 13 And He went up on the mountain and called to Him
those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. 14 Then
He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that
He might send them out to preach, 15 and to have power to
heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:
- 35 While He was still speaking, some came from the
the synagogue's house who said, "Your daughter is dead.
Why trouble the Teacher any further?"
36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He
said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not be afraid; only
believe." 37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except
Peter, James, and John the brother of James.
- 32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, "I
have compassion on the multitude, because they have now
continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I
do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the
33 Then His disciples said to Him, "Where could we get
enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great
34 Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?"
And they said, "Seven, and a few little fish."
35 So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the
ground. 36 And He took the seven loaves and the fish and
gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and
the disciples gave to the multitude. 37 So they all ate and
filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the
fragments that were left.
- The disciples ministered with Jesus and He debriefed with them
Debriefing is a very important part of training. It is important for
the mentor to allow the mentees to debrief with them after doing
ministry together. There needs to be a forum for the mentor to point
out spiritual principles and for the mentee to be able to ask questions
about their experiences ministering.
Mark 12:38-40 (Jesus debriefed with the disciples after being tested by
scribes and Pharisees)
- 38 Then He said to them in His teaching, "Beware of the
scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love
greetings in the marketplaces, 39 the best seats in the
synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 40 who devour
widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers.
These will receive greater condemnation."
- 2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John,
and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves;
and He was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became
shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer
on earth can whiten them. 4 And Elijah appeared to them
with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 Then Peter
answered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be
here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one
for Moses, and one for Elijah"-- 6 because he did not know
what to say, for they were greatly afraid.
7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice
came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son.
Hear Him!" 8 Suddenly, when they had looked around, they
saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.
9 Now as they came down from the mountain, He
commanded them that they should tell no one the things
they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
10 So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what
the rising from the dead meant.
11 And they asked Him, saying, "Why do the scribes say
that Elijah must come first?"
12 Then He answered and told them, "Indeed, Elijah is
coming first and restores all things. And how is it written
concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many
things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I say to you
that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever
they wished, as it is written of him."
- 38 Now John answered Him, saying, "Teacher, we saw
someone who does not follow us casting out demons in
Your name, and we forbade him because he does not
39 But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him, for no one who
works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil
of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side. 41For
whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name,
because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he
will by no means lose his reward.
- 14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came
to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 "Lord, have
mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers
severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the
water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could
not cure him."
17 Then Jesus answered and said, "O faithless and perverse
generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I
bear with you? Bring him here to Me." 18 And Jesus
rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child
was cured from that very hour.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said,
"Why could we not cast it out?"
20 So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for
assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there,'
and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and
Matt 19:23-30 (Jesus debriefs a ministry situation with His disciples)
- 23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to
you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of
heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to
go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter
the kingdom of God."
25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly
astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"
26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men
this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, "See, we have left
all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?"
28 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the
regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of
His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on
twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And
everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or
father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My
name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal
life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last
- There was a friendship there.
- John 15:15
- No Longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know
what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for
all things that I heard from My Father I have made known
- They had great respect for Jesus and a deep loyalty and commitment to
Him. But there were also times they were intimidated by their mentor.
Matt 26:33-35 (They were deeply committed to their mentor)
- 33 Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if all are
stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble."
34 Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that this
before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."
35 Peter said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will
not deny You!"
And so said all the disciples.
- 31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, "The
Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will
kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third
32 But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid
to ask Him.
- They could count on Jesus to protect them from criticism and to support
- 23 Now it happened that He went through the grainfields
on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to
pluck the heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him,
"Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?"
25 But He said to them, "Have you never read what David
did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with
him: 26 how he went into the house of God in the days of
Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is
not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some
to those who were with him?"
27 And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man,
and not man for the Sabbath. 28Therefore the Son of Man
is also Lord of the Sabbath.
- 14 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, "Why do
we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not
15 And Jesus said to them, "Can the friends of the bridegroom
mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days
will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from
them, and then they will fast. 16 No one puts a piece of
unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away
from the garment, and the tear is made worse. 17 Nor do they
put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break,
the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they
new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."
-- © GodSpeak International 2000 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from
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