MENTORING IS BACK IN FAVOR AGAIN, like a wonderful old story that hasn't been told for so long it sounds new. In some ways it has taken on the characteristics of a fad; if too much is expected too soon, it will fail.
Mentoring may seem new, but actually it is an update of one of the oldest and best methods of learning. In times before degrees were mandatory, the mentoring system was the accepted one, not only in manual skills but in the professions, such as in medicine and law.
I have heard respected pastors say they believe the apprentice system of pastoring would be more effective than most seminary programs. Ray Stedman, who pastored Peninsula Bible Church for many years, believed in and practiced the apprentice method. He always had a few young men on staff who would travel with him—together they would study, observe, and delineate the scriptural principles of life. These young men saw how the work was done successfully and how they could apply their learning in a practical way.