Give them handles – That is, give them something to grab on to. Help them discover and internalize truths they can own and live by. When they possess them, they will then able to pass them on to others, who in turn can multiply them in others. Many people today, especially young adults, simply do not possess basic life skills. So build into your protgs such basics as how to meditate on the Scriptures; a method for memorizing Gods word; show them how to pray, give them practical help on how to manage their time, finances, thought life, weight, etc. Show them how to claim the promises of God, and how to listen for the voice of God. Teach them how to gain wisdom by observing life; how to problem solve. Etc., etc.
Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people) (Eph.5:15 Amp.)
Give them road maps – That is, help them discover Gods will and direction for their life. Help them gain a view of the big picture as to what God is accomplishing in the world, and how he intends for us to participate with him in his mission? Facilitate your charges in identifying and dealing with such key issues as moral purity, personal holiness, servanthood, intimacy with God, how to be empowered and led by the Holy Spirit, etc. Help them discover their gifts and how to apply them in accomplishing Gods mission for their life. Modeling, of course, is the most effective teacher: You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings–what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured (2 Tim. 3:10, 11a)
Give them laboratories That is, provide them with an environment in which to practice the truths you are exploring together. A lab is a safe place to conduct experiments without inordinate risk. It furnishes a beginning and an ending point. An experiment in a lab can be observed and evaluated. It affords ideas for application in real life. Jesus, for example, produced a lab of sorts when he sent out the 72 on a short term mission trip as preparation for their future life of ministry. (Lk. 10:1-24)
Give them roots That is, Scriptural foundations. In the storms of life they are going to need deep convictions based on the truths and promises of God. There simply is no substitute for unrushed, sustained prayerful intake of Gods word to discover and own Gods truths and promises for their life.
Continue to live in [Christ], rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulnessBlessed is the man [whose] delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Col. 2:6,7; Ps. 1:1-3 Selected) (See Jer. 17:7,8; Matt. 7:24-27; Eph. 3:16-19; Heb. 6:12)
Give them wings – That is, give them the freedom to soar to the heights of their potential for God and his glory. Celebrate the day they soar past you, their mentor/disciplier. In mentoring, it is imperative that we discern when to release them. If we err, it is usually on the side of not letting them go soon enough. So give them as much freedom as they demonstrate they are capable of handling. Imagine, on the day Jesus gave his Great Commission to his disciples, some were still doubting his deity! Yet he commissioned them. (Matt. 28:17-20)
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isa. 40:31)
+ Key ideas drawn and adapted from Mentoring by Tim Elmore, pages 77-80, Published by Equip, Atlanta, GA, 2001