A mentor is a person who can support, advise and guide you. Their influence plays a valuable role through encouragement and teaching. In addition, they can protect new church planters from false doctrine and wrong philosophies. Every young man needs someone whom he can trust, who will teach him and guide him through the unchartered territory of a new church plant.
It is a cardinal mistake to think you don’t need godly counsel. Sone preachers have stated that we should not follow a man. Following the instruction of a mature man is not blindly following a man. Paul is a great example of this. He encouraged disciples to follow his instruction and leadership. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 11:1. Blindly following a man is not following Christ, however following a man who is following Christ is a wise decision.
The Bible has several examples of men who assisted a leader and this leader ultimately trained them to take his place. Joshua served under Moses and assumed the leadership of guiding the Israelites into the Promised Land. Moses was a great mentor to Joshua by displaying courage, humility and a love for God. Joshua knew the hand of the Lord was upon Moses and it is no surprise that Joshua was prepared for future leadership.
Elijah was accompanied by Elisha. As Elisha observed Elijah he gained confidence and courage to follow his leader’s example. Elisha asked God for a double portion of the power of Elijah and God gave it to him.
Paul is a New Testament example of mentoring through his relationship with Timothy. Paul saw something in Timothy that led him to believe Timothy could be used of God in a great way and Paul invested his life in him. Paul’s last writings before his martyrdom were to Timothy. There is no doubt that Timothy was greatly impacted by Paul’s influence which led him to be greatly used of God.
Barnabas had a gift of encouragement and he helped John Mark when Paul had given up on him. Eventually John Mark proved himself and his abilities were recognized by Paul but Barnabas helped John Mark become a stronger leader. The Bible points out the value of mentoring young men and church planters will do well to seek godly mentors.
Wisdom is the principle thing according to the Word of God and young men can find wisdom from men of experience. Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
– – Proverbs 20:5. Using the wisdom of good men allows a young man to borrow their wisdom and helps them to avoid serious mistakes.
The influence of our parents, our pastor, a teacher or a godly friend helps us become who we are. Any church planters that think they have all the answers and choose to do it all themselves are the path to failure. The young man that seeks counsel and asks questions will have the best opportunity for success. Acquiring the aid of a godly preacher could be the most important decision in starting and building a church.