Conversation on Spiritual Mentoring

Are small groups really the best environment for making disciples who make disciples? It doesn’t seem that way.

Here are the thoughts of another pastor and I as we discussed this and other questions on the topic of spiritual mentoring. (Please note that the phrases “making disciples” and “spiritual mentoring” are used interchangably):

Small groups are…

  • like a doctors office – a great place to “get fixed”
  • a great support ministry
  • discussion oriented – not action oriented
  • a place where people meet for spiritual mentoring to happen naturally in life

Spiritual Mentoring…

  • is like a health club with personal trainers – a great place to “grow healthier”
  • is conversational and action oriented
  • is a safe relationship where people can grow in spiritual health
  • multiplies disciples as each mentoree begins spiritually mentoring others

What does it take to be a spiritual mentor?

  • “Locking OUT time, to lock IN people”
  • intentionality
  • affinity
  • follow-through
  • commitment
  • consistency
  • answering the question, who am I going to pursue (or spiritually mentor)?

Spiritual mentoring should be wholistic – touching on three realms:

  • skill mentoring (parenting, teaching, leading, shepherding, multi-media, etc.)
  • social mentoring (family, marketplace, neighborhood, etc.)
  • spirit mentoring (application of God’s truth and mimicking of Jesus in all of life)

How does spiritual mentoring happen best?

  • informally – NOT formally

What prevents most churches from being centers of great spiritual mentoring (disciple making)?

  • church leaders (pastoral staff, elders, etc.) fail to model spiritual mentoring – they fail to make disciples who make disciples by staying overly busy with church politics and business (or what might better be called “busyness”)
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