Mentoring Church Planters -- By: Ken Davis
JMAT 14:2 (Fall 2010) p. 25
Mentoring Church Planters
Director of Project Jerusalem
Baptist Bible Seminary
Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania
The theological and biblical basis for church planting has been adequately dealt with in much recent literature.1 Thus this will focus its discussion on the biblical rationale for a mentoring internship in the training of church planters. The development of a sound biblical basis for mentoring church starters is vital if churches and educational institutions are to profitably partner together in the grand task of fully equipping church planters. It is insufficient to ground mentoring in a pragmatic judgment that mentoring is being popularly utilized in the business and educational worlds of our day.
This article will demonstrate that the concept of mentoring church planters through a well-conceived internship is not a novel idea. The Scriptures, in both testaments, provide many examples of relationships that reveal mentoring dynamics. Each biblical example can be profitably studied to discover principles for the mentoring of modern day church developers. Though the words “mentoring” and “mentor” do not occur in the inspired text, the concept is found abundantly throughout the pages of Scripture, both in pattern and precept. The primary examples of field-based mentoring of ministers of the gospel are seen in the NT records, in the ministry models of Christ and his apostles. Yet the OT also gives us rich insights of mentoring relationships. If we define mentoring as “a relational experience in which one person empowers another person by the sharing of God given
JMAT 14:2 (Fall 2010) p. 26
resources,”2 then wonderful illustrations of mentoring can be seen in the older testament.
Old Testament Mentoring
One fine example of leadership mentoring can be seen in the life and contribution of Jethro to his son-in-law Moses (Exod 18). Jethro has often been cited as an insightful OT example of discipleship, counseling, and encouragement, but he also certainly demonstrates the marks of a faithful mentor toward Moses. Finding Moses troubled and overworked as a leader after the challenge of Egypt and the arduous journey to Rephidim, Jethro displays excellent listening skills and genuine concern for his son-in-law’s welfare (vv. 7-8). He celebrates the victories God’s people have experienced under Moses’ leadership (vv. 9-10) and even worships with him (v. You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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