Mentoring can be found in example of Barnabas. More than an encourager, the effect of Barnabas on the life of the apostle Paul (Acts 9) reached well beyond Paul’s own life and ministry. Howard Hendricks, in his book Iron Sharpening Iron, makes the Biblical case for mentoring as a Ministry of Multiplication. Barnabas equipped Paul for ministry through mentoring him. Paul, through his mentoring of Priscilla and Aquila, Timothy, and Titus, to name a just a few, extended the fruit of Barnabas’ mentoring well beyond the one relationship he had with Paul.
Mentoring is not so much a formal role as much as it is a relationship. It usually lasts for a specific time and encompasses the growth of the whole person being mentored. The relationship is characterized by the mentor’s commitment and spiritual growth towards effectiveness in ministry.
According to Hendricks, there are several ways in which the mentor facilitates the growth:
• He provides wisdom through advice and counsel
• He promotes specific skills and behaviors that are essential in ministry
• He provides feedback, both positive and negative
• He coaches in areas where he is competent (see next section on Coaching)
• He is a sounding board, providing the protégé the opportunity to test ideas
• He is a counselor in times of deep personal need
• He helps to devise plans by offering practical and objective advice
• He nurtures curiosity by identifying opportunities
Jesus modeled three aspects to the total development:
• Head: Public learning, or What I Must Know
• Hands: Practical learning, or What I Must Do
• Heart: Private learning, or What I Must Be
All of these are needed when training people for evangelism.