Mentoring and Discipleship

Discipleship is deeply rooted in the Christian faith. Jesus reached out to large crowds (such as the feeding of
5,000 men), his core disciples (numbering 120 by the time of Acts 1:15), the Twelve, and, finally, the Three (Peter, James and John). Jesus seemed to cultivate a deeper relationship with the Three even beyond his relationship with the Twelve. He took them alone onto the Mount of Transfiguration. All the disciples followed Jesus into the Garden of Gethsemane, but Jesus called the Three away from the others to be closer to Himself.
 
In the rest of the New Testament, we see Paul working closely with a number of individuals, including, most
notably, Timothy. This relationship is so emblematic of mentoring that it is common for mentors in the Church today to refer to their “Timothy” that they are discipling or even for churches to refer to young men they send out to full-time ministry as “Timothys.”
 
Jesus himself commanded his followers to, “Go and make disciples” before his Ascension. Paul lays out the goal of mentoring in 2 Timothy 2:2, saying, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” This is four-deep discipleship. Paul (1) is telling Timothy (2) to train reliable men (3) who can teach others (4). Paul modeled a mentoring philosophy that valued replication and deep transmission of theological truth.
 
Who are you investing in today?