“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” (Ephesians 4:11-14, emphasis mine)
If you are mentoring (shepherding), and no matter your age you can be, then you are to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. Meeting with someone is not you living the Christian life and telling them about it, but calling them out to walk with Jesus. Before Jen Hatmaker was JEN HATMAKER she wrote a book on how to study the Bible. One chapter was titled: “Codependency that doesn’t require therapy: Learning to lean on the Holy Spirit.” I loved it. Sometimes we can create a weird triangle of I am the Christian and you're a smaller, newer versionof a Christian. Instead of we are Christians, let me equip you to not just be a hearer but a doer.
We all know 2 Timothy 3:14-17 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Teaching says, “Look at the woman at the well. She wasn’t a Christian for 5 years. She didn’t go to seminary or attend a 12 week training class on evangelism. God only knows what she had been doing and with who that morning. She met Jesus and immediately went and shared her newfound faith with her entire town. It must’ve been good, because half believed and half sought out Jesus to hear more.”
After this teaching people leave and think, “Wow, maybe I could do that!” But, they are not competent and equipped for every good work without training. Training says, “Here are some simple phrases and questions to use. Let’s practice together until we have it down.”
2 Corinthians 7:10- “For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There's no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” When I hear that I should discipline my children according to Scripture, I can feel worldly sorrow…Ugh, I’m not enough. I’m not doing this right. When I am taught how to discipline my children according to Scripture with simple tools, phrases, and prayers I am competent and equipped to try it. If I don’t, I have conviction…Ugh, Lord, love these kids through me. I have heard and now know what to do. Holy Spirit do this in and through me. Apply that to every area. Teaching coupled with training produces competent and equipped people who are READY FOR EVERY GOOD WORK. (Sorry to shout. That excites me).
We will be adding some simple training videos soon. We want to encourage you to watch, practice until you feel competent (meaning- you can share it comfortably without notes). Great ways to practice: Share with your mom. Share with your siblings. Share with your small group. Set a goal like, “I will share with 5 people who will be understanding and help me practice. I will do this in a week.” Then, share with someone who is far from God. Please don’t just email the links. Learn these tools and teach others who will teach others.
The clear command is to equip the saints. The goal is 2 Timothy 2:2- “…and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” You learn, you equip, you train, because the goal is that you are modeling someone who is equipped. Guess what? Those you mentor will follow your model, and they will be those faithful people who will be able to teach others also. - Amy