Find someone who knows less than you and teach them what you know. This has been some of the most helpful and hopeful advice I’ve ever received. Mentoring or discipleship doesn’t have to be intimidating. But it is something that is expected of you. You know something about God’s word that someone else could benefit from. Someone else knows something you can benefit from. This is the Spirit of the text in the book of Titus, which says, older teach the younger.
Someone in my life took this responsibility to heart and did it for me. I’ve had many friends who are older and many who are younger than I am. One of my best friends is 89 years old. I see her almost every day. My own grandmother doesn’t live near me, and she isn’t a believer. But Dorothy likes to talk about heaven. She has influenced me to look at things in the light of eternity. She has also stoked the fires of my curiosity about heaven and encouraged me in my pursuit of the knowledge of God’s word.
This Thursday, I’m taking Dorothy’s great-granddaughter out to buy paint. We’re going to paint a rocking chair together. While we paint, we’re going to ask each other questions. We’ll take turns. I’ll find out what she understands and where her heart is. I’ll also get opportunities to share small bits of life wisdom and brag about Christ to her. I’m excited.
Discipleship is life, it isn’t a Thursday afternoon meeting or a cup of coffee every single week. It doesn’t even have to be a carefully planned Bible study. It is important, however, to carefully study God’s word, but I’m talking about life on life mentoring. I’m a broken record here, but, discipleship is taking what you know and giving it to someone else.
Think like a mentor. Be diligent in knowing God yourself. Have something to offer. Think of questions to ask. Carve out time for people. Use every conversation as an opportunity to listen and to teach.
Think like a disciple. Seek out people who are strong, mature believers. Ask them stuff. Talk to them at church or on the phone or get together for coffee. Use every conversation as an opportunity to listen and learn.
Dorothy is 89 and her great-granddaughter is 7. It just so happens that I read my Bible this week. I learned something. What more do I need?
Amy DeBurgh is the wife of her favorite preacher. She lives in the great state of Wisconsin with her husband and three big kids who are the joy and adventure of her life.