This past weekend at New Song Church, Jennifer Alcock spoke about one of the three key relationships that a Christ Follower must have in order to take steps in his or her walk with God. The following is a guest post from Jennifer that summarizes her message. Click here to listen to the message in its entirety.
Do you want to make an investment that will continually produce benefits, even after you are gone? Do you want to put your time, energy and resources into something that will better your life and someone else’s- one that will result in life-changing dividends? No, I’m not talking about an investment in the stock market. I’m talking about an investment in SOMEONE, specifically someone who is not as far along as you are in their walk with God.
For the last several weeks at New Song Church, we’ve been talking about some key relationships that we need to cultivate if we want to go deeper in our Walk with God, and these relationships model those found in the Scripture. If we want to increase our spiritual intensity, we need to first find a mentor, someone who is further along in their journey than we are (we call this “having a Paul”), and we need to humbly glean from their experiences. Secondly, we need to find people who can walk beside us and encourage us, as well as hold us accountable along this often-challenging journey called life – and we in turn need to find people to encourage. This mirrors the story of Barnabas in the New Testament whose very name meant “encourager”.
This past Sunday, we talked about God’s imperative that we seek out people who are not as far along in their journey as we are and invest our time in helping them grow spiritually. From the beginning, God instructs older generations to pass on the truth of His Word to younger generations (see Titus 2:2-8). It was God who came up with the concept of mentoring, not Donald Trump’s “Apprentice”! We call this spiritual mentoring “Training a Timothy”, just as the Apostle Paul of the New Testament took young Timothy under his wing to teach him the things of God.
When we mentor someone newer to the faith, we make a huge investment that can have a ripple effect for generations. And that was our bottom line on Sunday: Walking with God means investing in others. God takes this investment very seriously because He wants the best for His children! There are a number of reasons why mentors are difficult to find, and they span from our society being just too busy to being too uncomfortable to get real and expose our weaknesses and hang-ups. Mentoring could be an intimidating prospect because we don’t even know how to begin. However, God can help us since it was His idea that we pour our life into someone else’s life.
You don’t have to be a trained counselor, live a life of perfection or have 75 years of experience to mentor someone. You must only possess a heart for God and a love for people. If you are a parent with children living at home, THEY are your Timothy-types to train! In addition, you can find someone to mentor within your circle of influence, such as a younger co-worker or neighbor or maybe even a younger relative in your extended family. Most younger people would jump at the chance to have someone who really cares invest in them personally!
It’s all about being real, asking the tough questions, listening, and providing some timely and Godly advice. Mentoring is doing life together, and God is all about that. One of my favorite quotes from one of my mentors, Darren Hileman, is: “True life is found in giving your life away”.
Do you want to find true life? Do you want to seriously intensify your walk with God? Invest your life into someone else’s! It’s an investment that will pay huge dividends.
(Written and submitted by Jennifer Alcock)